California’s Top 50 high school football teams: No. 33 Liberty (Bakersfield) is loaded once again

SBLive is previewing the Top 50 high school football teams in California ahead of the fall 2021 season. Here’s an inside look at the Liberty Patriots of the CIF Central Section, the No. 33 team in our countdown.

MORE: PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAM | TOP 50 COUNTDOWN

LIBERTY TEAM PAGE | 2021 FALL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

LIBERTY HEAD COACH

Bryan Nixon – 9th season (70-22)

2021 SPRING AT A GLANCE

  • 5-0 overall record
  • 4-0 in Southwest Yosemite League (1st)

IMPACT DEPARTURES

  • Brady Anderson (LB) (San Diego State signee) (Graduated)
  • Prentice Boone (RB) (Graduated)
  • Hayden Mann (QB) (Graduated)
  • Jose Montecinos (WR) (Graduated)

2021 SCHEDULE

  • Aug. 20 @ Spanish Spring (NV) – 5PM
  • Aug. 27 @ Ridgeview – 7:30PM
  • Sep. 3 vs. Stellar Prep – 7PM
  • Sep. 11 vs. Clayton Valley Charter – 7:30PM
  • Sep. 17 @ Chaminade – 7PM
  • Oct. 1 @ Garces Memorial – 7:30PM
  • Oct. 8 @ Centennial (Bakersfield) – 7:30PM
  • Oct. 15 vs. Frontier – 7:30PM
  • Oct. 22 vs. Stockdale – 7:30PM
  • Oct. 29 vs. Bakersfield – 7:30PM

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Riley Hernandez (Senior-LB) (6-2, 225) (Sacramento State commit)

2021 spring stats: 24 tackles, three sacks

Jalen Hankins (Junior-DB/RB) (5-8, 175)

2021 spring stats: 83 rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns, 21 tackles, one interception

Grant Buckey (Junior-DL) (6-5, 240)

Offer sheet: San Jose State and UNLV

William Kanavalov (Senior-LB) (6-0, 180)

2021 spring stats: 35 tackles, two sacks, one interception

Jason Oliver (Senior-DB/WR) (6-1, 170)

2021 spring stats: Six catches for 125 yards and one touchdown

Offer sheet: Nine offers including California and Boise State

Cade Gretlein (Junior-OL/DL) (6-4, 265)

Only a junior, Gretlein is one of the best two-way linemen in the section.

BEST-CASE SCENARIO FOR LIBERTY

Liberty loaded up on their non-league schedule this season, starting off with a road game at Spanish Springs (Nevada) and a trip to Los Angeles to play Chaminade in week five. The Patriots will also take on Clayton Valley Charter in the annual Honor Bowl in week four. If the Patriots can hold their own in non-league play, they’ll be positioned well to make a run towards a top playoff seed come postseason time.

MOST REALISTIC SCENARIO

The Patriots enter the season on a 19-game winning streak in league play dating back to the 2016 season. They’ll be big favorites in the Southwest Yosemite league once again and will have the back half of the regular season to prepare for a Central Section playoff run.

MORE: PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAM | TOP 50 COUNTDOWN

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

%d bloggers like this: