I’m proud to be a Liberty alumnus. Very proud. I don’t love everything about the school (or, more accurately, everyone who runs it…), but I loved my time there. What I love most as an alum is getting to cheer on Liberty athletics in what is shaping up to be a golden age.
Last year, Liberty’s Men’s Basketball capped their season with an amazing win over Lipscomb for the ASUN Conference championship and an upset that shocked the nation against Mississippi State in March Madness. It was a good time to be a Flame.
But I’m not much of a basketball fan.
Which is why this past Saturday, for me, was the best day (so far) in Liberty sports history. In case you missed it, on Saturday, the Flames clobbered New Mexico State to get their 7th win on the season and to secure bowl eligibility.
There have been some good days to be a Liberty fan: our last minute, upset win over conference rival Coastal Carolina; our shock upset over Baylor in week 1 of 2017; our win against Old Dominion in our first ever FBS game.
Odds are, the Liberty Flames will be playing in a bowl game this year. In their first year of eligibility. I don’t know if any other team has pulled that off; if so, I bet the list is short.
What a season.
This profile of Buckshot Calvert in The Athletic is worth your time (sorry about the paywall). This bit is particularly impressive:
For the first three years of Calvert’s Liberty career, it was a little too perfect. The ballistics definition of Buckshot would imply a lot of throws without much regard for accuracy, and that described the previous iteration of Calvert pretty well. He never got his completion percentage out of the 50s, and as a junior he threw 18 interceptions to go with his 21 touchdowns.
But since throwing three interceptions in Liberty’s first two games of 2019 (losses to Syracuse and Louisiana), Calvert has attempted 281 passes without a pick.
Even with a pair of interceptions against UVA, Buckshot’s stat line for the season is still impressive: 233 completions, 3,393 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions.
Also worth your time: this profile of Frankie Hickson from A Sea of Red. A Highlight:
For [Hickson] to be part of the football team that saw the program rise from the FCS ranks to the FBS and be on the first team to become bowl eligible is the real perfect story. Maybe there will be a movie written one day about this team, this season, and this running back who was part of this team.
“This is home,” Frankie said. “Liberty is home. Williams Stadium is home. No better way to cap it off.”
Thanks for indulging me. Fan The Flames!