Liberty athletics readies for start


Madera Tribune File Photo

The Liberty Hawks boys cross country team will opened its season Friday with a dual meet at the school, beginning in the stadium.

Unlike their neighbors in Madera, Golden Valley Unified School District, in particular at Liberty High School, athletes have been a full go since the summer.


“Ultimately, it’s up to each individual school district,” said Mike Nolte, Liberty High School Athletics Director and head football coach. “We’ve been practicing all summer, the fall and the winter. We shut it down during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We were able to keep practicing.”


Unlike Madera Unified School District which shut down its athletes just before Thanksgiving last year, Liberty athletes were still able to practice, except breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas.


“We have multiple sports practicing or getting ready to start practice,” Nolte said. “We’ve been doing that since Jan. 4. Not every sport practiced all the time, but they could.”


Friday, Liberty held its first athletics contest in 11 months with a cross country dual meet on the school’s campus.


“It’s much needed to get going,” Nolte said. “The kids need to get out and be active. For a lot of kids, it’s their motivation to get through school.”


There are a lot of sports already practicing and some ready to go, including Nolte’s football team.


“Volleyball and cross country are practicing,” Nolte said. “Football is getting ready to start, girls tennis is getting ready to start, baseball is practicing, softball starts March 1, girls soccer starts next week and track and field starts next week. We have guidelines that we have to follow. Some practices might not look like what people are used to seeing, but they are out there.”


With football in the yellow tier, according to the State CIF office, the time to start football is running out.


“We’re still holding out hope for football for something to happen,” Nolte said. “The window is closing fast. As long as there’s a crack in the window, there’s a chance.”

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