CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – We continue our 2020 high school football previews by taking a look at the Liberty Mountaineers.
AJ Harman and company have qualified for the postseason in three of the last four years, including last season. It’s only the second time in program history the Mountaineers have accomplished that feat, and a trip to the playoffs is once again the goal heading into this season.
“It takes a lot of work, and you’ve got to stay focused,” said senior linebacker and tailback Chaytin Harris. “And you’ve got to help lead the defense, and make tackles, and fill your gap and do your job.”
Harris, a three-year starter, will be one of the captains on defense, replacing Seth McIntyre.
Liberty graduated a number of key seniors, including McIntyre, along with quarterback Noah Leggett, and Dwayne Buckhannon. This year, senior tailback Sayveon Beafore will lead the Mountaineers offense.
“That’s what motivates me during the game of football. I love that. I think that makes me strive harder – make me go harder in the games. So, I look forward to having that chip on my shoulder,” said Beafore when asked about being the leader of the offense.”
Asked about goals he has for this season, Beafore said, “Honestly, I want to make the all-state team for running back. My ultimate, ultimate goal is winning the Kennedy Award. That’s what I really want.”
Harman has liked what he’s seen from Beafore so far, both in his production and in his leadership.
“A lot of what we do is going to revolve around number 24, that’s for sure. He’s embracing his role as a leader this year. He’s doing an outstanding job leading by example. And he’s like having another coach on the field,” said Harman.
Senior Nate Ryan battles sophomore Julius Bartley for the starting quarterback job.
Meanwhile, Harman says there are a number of other position battles going on for this young Liberty team.
The offensive and defensive lines are two places with battles, as once again the Mountaineers will be young up front.
“We’ve got a good mix right now of youth with seniors,” said Harman. “We’ve got two seniors anchoring both lines. Zach Womeldorff, who’s a returning all-conference player, and Devin Mayers, who’s probably the strongest kid on our team.”
Harman’s seventh year in charge of the Mountaineers gets underway on Friday, Sept. 4 against South Harrison.