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Liberty excited

Youth isn’t always a bad thing in sports and Liberty’s basketball team hopes their young players can blossom this winter.

The Hurricanes are coming off an 11-12 season from a year ago, but feel they can make a jump this season.

Head coach Nigel Long enters his third season with optimism about what is capable with this year’s young crop of players.

“We’re a young team replacing eight seniors from last year’s graduating class,” Long said. “Really excited about this group. They are hard workers and are eager to learn. They also get along well together. Our focus is to continue to get better each day in hopes of playing our best in January and February.”

Back for the Hurricanes are Nate Rivera (senior, guard), Dwayne Chess Jr. (sophomore, forward) and Angel Holguin (junior, forward).

Newcomer include Noah Gyauch-Quirk (junior, forward), Jake Pukszyn (freshman, guard) and Blake Hargrove (freshman, guard)

Long expects Rivera to lead the group along with Chess Jr., but the addition of freshmen talents Pukszyn and Hargrove gives Liberty a sense of buzz coming into the season.

“Our focus is to continue to get better each day,” Long said. “We are hoping to work toward earning an opportunity to play in postseason play (EPC/Districts).”

Liberty opens the season Saturday at 1 p.m. on the road against Southern Lehigh.

Press file photo Nate Rivera, shown here playing this summer, is back for the Hurricanes this winter.