One of the top teams in the state returning next season will be the 5A Liberty Falcons out of Hillsboro. The kids from the Northwest Oregon Conference went (9-2) this past year, losing in the 2nd round of the state playoffs to eventual state champion Hermiston 19-14.
They will feature one of the region’s elite LB groups, led by NWOC Player of the Year Devin Thompson (6-2 220 16′), who will be on multiple D1 recruiting boards. Thompson earned 1st team all league honors as a sophomore, and followed that up this year with a dominating performance.
He will be joined by three other all conference Junior’s that had equally impressive seasons in 2014. Kaelin Himphill (6-2 215 16′) went off, showing that he was one of the top backers for the 2016 class in Oregon. He earned 1st team all conference accolades and brings legit size and speed to the table. Much like Thompson his stock is rising quickly. Add in all conference linebacker Brayden Bafaro (6-2 205 16′) and you have one of the most impressive young LB crews to come out of the state in some time.
As most know Brayden is the brother of all everything athlete Brett Bafaro who signed with the Ducks out of high school. Brett is regarded as the best athlete ever to set foot at the school, as Oregon wanted him for both football and baseball.
Referencing this past year Devin says, “Looking back at the season it stings that we lost in the quarterfinals by 5, but we did a lot of great things and I know that the Liberty students and community were proud of us and what we accomplished.”
Prior to this season the Falcons were never considered a football power. The fan base came out in full support of this group, putting even more excitement into next year as 8 starters return on the defensive side of the ball.
Adding to his thoughts Thompson says, “I think our LB crew has something that a lot of other schools do not.. We are competitive and feed off each others success, and are also really good friends off the field talking football 90% of the time.”
Liberty also returns a bunch of talented kids on the offensive side of the ball, led by back to back all conference QB/RB combo Blake Walker and Devin Kaneshiro. Add to this a 4th all league returner at LB, Lucas Landeverde (5-10 225 16′), and you have what will be one of the top ranked teams in Oregon at the 5A level.
In closing Thompson says, “Our goals for next season include winning our first state championship, while I personally want to be the best teammate and leader that I can be.” We will bring you updates as the off season gets underway.