By SHAWN YORKS
• Daily Leader
The Liberal High School boys basketball team kicked off preparations for the 2010-2011 season this week.
The Redskins are coming off an 11-10 season from a year ago and have three returning starters back on the court. Jade Cathey, Tyson Deaton and Bryan Morris will be Liberal’s go-to men this season, and all bring good size and athleticism to the Redskins.
“Athletic and good size will be our strength,” said head coach Drew Gruver, who is 47-20 overall as coach of the Redskins. “We have a very good group of guys to work with that are excited about basketball.”
Cathey, a 6-foot-4 senior, averaged 17.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game for the Redskins last season. Six-foot-3 forward Tyson Deaton was a monster on the boards for Liberal. The senior averaged 9.7 rebounds per game and had 16 blocked shots. Morris averaged three points, an assist and a steal per game for the Redskins.
Joining those three seniors will be seniors Slader McVey, Bryce Lamas and Preston Myers, and juniors Kenlee West, B.J. Washington and DeVondre Livingston.
McVey is returning from a knee injury that sidelined him most of last season, while at 6-foot-4, Livingston will give Liberal some good size at the post.
“We are excited to see who will step up for us this season,” Gruver said. “Playing solid team defense and being disciplined will be keys for our success this year.”
The Redskins have a tough schedule once again this season, opening on Dec. 3 on the road at Holcomb. Guymon, Okla. visits The Big House for the home-opener on Dec. 7 before Hereford, Texas and Lawton, Okla. come in for the Conestoga Classic. Liberal closes out 2010 at Perryton, Texas on Dec. 17.
After the holiday break, the Redskins travel to Ulysses (Jan. 4) and Hays (Jan. 7) before Garden City comes to town Jan. 11. The Redskins will play in the Colby Orange and Black Classic Jan. 20-22.
2010 Liberal Redskins Basketball
Dec. 3 — @ Holcomb
Dec. 7 — Guymon, Okla.
Dec. 10-11 — Conestoga Classic @ LHS
Dec. 17 — @ Perryton, Texas
Jan. 4 — @ Ulysses
Jan. 7 — @ Hays
Jan. 11 — Garden City
Jan. 14 — @ Scott City
Jan. 20-22 — @ Colby Tournament
Jan. 28 — Sunrise Christian Academy
Feb. 1 — @ Dodge City
Feb. 4 — @ Great Bend
Feb. 8 — @ Guymon, Okla.
Feb. 11 — Hays
Feb. 19 — Great Bend
Feb. 22 — @ Garden City
Feb. 25 — Dodge City
March 3-5 — Sub-State
March 9-12 — State @ Topeka