Zoe Kip to wrestle at state’s first girls invitational

A wrestler in a white singlet holds the head of her opponent to the mat

What began as an impulsive choice has led Liberty’s Zoe Kip to a statewide stage.

Kip is scheduled to compete in the first New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls wrestling invitational tournament on Friday, Jan. 27, at SRC Arena and Event Center in Syracuse.

Zoe KipThe 16-year-old LHS junior said she began wrestling in seventh grade on a whim. “I didn’t really think about it before I actually joined,” she said, “but year after year I grew to love the sport.”

She has only wrestled on mixed teams, as Liberty does not have a girls wrestling team.

NYSPHSAA classified girls wrestling as an emerging sport before the start of this school year, opening the path to being a fully sanctioned sport as soon as next year.

That is something Kip supports. 

“Let’s make it a female sport,” she said of wrestling. “Women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing sports, and the dedication and persistence that female wrestlers have is incredible.”

When Kip started wrestling, she was the first girl wrestling for Liberty in more than a decade, she said. Now there are three females on the team.

Two wrestlers compete in a match“Zoe is one of the hardest workers in the room,” said her coach, Brian Vaughn. “Girls wrestling is growing, but has not yet matched the density of boys wrestling, so she has something to prove.” 

Athletic Director Erin Alvord agreed.

“As an athlete, Zoe shows great commitment to her sport. She is dedicated and a very hard worker,” she said. “Even though Zoe is only a junior this year, she is a veteran wrestler with a lot of experience, including off-season wrestling tournaments.”

That hard work has paid off.

Last year, she came in second in sectionals in the girls division, third in the New York State Girls Folkstyle Tournament, second in an Eastern national tournament, and qualified for the Journeymen Wrestling Tournament. This year, she placed third in the 160-pound class at the Eastern States Girls Invitational held at SUNY Sullivan and will make her state appearance later this month. For more details on Friday’s event, see the NYSPHSAA announcement here.

She said she looks forward to taking part in girls-only events. “It’s an honor to be able to go to events and be a part of these things.”

It’s a different vibe, Kip said.

Two wrestlers shake hands on the matThe wrestling itself isn’t much different than mixed matches, “but the kind of opponent relationship is because we both have an understanding of how much more we’ve had to work to be where we are and it makes it more personal,” she said. ”And we both have a mutual respect for each other when a lot of the boys lack that for women wrestlers.”

She said she has gotten a lot of support within the school and from competitors.

“I have incredible support from our athletic director, Erin Alvord, and our new assistant principal, Devin Lamar,” she said. “I receive support from most of the opposing coaches and a lot of the boys who have other girls on their teams.”

Support goes both ways.

“She is a leader in the wrestling room and her teammates respect her,” Alvord said. “Zoe is always willing to lend a hand to a new wrestler who needs help.”

Zoe Kip cheers on her teammate from the sidelines.“Being in mixed competition is tough,” Vaughn added, “but regardless of result, she still supports the rest of the team and shows up to practice with a smile. It’s good to have a teammate like that.”

Kip gives a lot of credit to her success to Vaughn, who has been coaching her since ninth grade.

“I wouldn’t have been able to do anything that I’ve done without him,” she said. “Him standing on the edge of the mat when I win, when I lose; helping me note my strengths and strengthen my weaknesses; for his coaching from videos I’ve sent him in the offseason.

“He’s changed the sport for me completely,” she continued, “and mainly for believing in me when I often don’t even believe in myself.”

The future for girls wrestling at Liberty and the state level is not yet known.

“I feel that Liberty could definitely do more,” Kip said. She is promoting the sport to the next generation of girls, including talking to middle schoolers about the sport during an award ceremony last year.

It is a building process.

“It will take some time until Liberty can possibly have its own women’s team,” Vaughn said. “Even the boys’ team has this issue.” 

Two girls practice before a wrestling matchA lot of the decision will be based on numbers.

“We would love to have enough female wrestlers to have solely a girls team. However, we will continue to do what is best for our student athletes,” Alvord said. “If participating in mixed competition helps the female wrestlers perform at their best, we will continue with that route. If we have enough female wrestlers and feel that other schools will also have enough and our females will be able to regularly compete at a level they know they can, we will provide our female student athletes with that opportunity as well.”

There is no doubt the sport is growing. 

 “Each year, there are more girls-only tournaments, or tournaments with a girls division, and I think this is really going to convince more girls to join,” Vaughn said

And what advice does Kip give to other girls who want to wrestle?

“Just do it,” she said. “You could end up loving it, and if you don’t like it you don’t have to continue. But you don’t want to end up missing an opportunity to do something you could really enjoy.”

Sports schedule, results for the week of Jan. 23-29, 2023

Our athletes will be in action in basketball, indoor track and field and wrestling this week.

Here is the schedule, with livestream links and results, if available:

Monday, Jan. 23

All matches postponed or canceled.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

5 p.m.: Boys JV basketball vs. Livingston Manor at Liberty High School

5 p.m.: Boys varsity basketball vs. Roscoe at Roscoe Central School.

5 p.m.: Varsity wrestling vs. multiple schools at Liberty Middle School.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

All events canceled or postponed

Thursday, Jan. 26

4:15 p.m.: Girls modified basketball vs. Livingston Manor.

5 p.m.: Girls JV basketball vs. Roscoe at Liberty High School.

6:30 p.m.: Girls varsity basketball vs. Roscoe at Liberty High School. Result: The varsity girls had a great senior night team 58-14 win, with every player on the team scoring at least one basket.  See more on the Girls Basketball Instagram page and the Liberty Athletics Instagram page.

Friday, Jan. 27

1 p.m.: Zoe Kip will compete in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls wrestling invitational tournament in Syracuse. Learn more about the event, including how to get tickets, here.

5 p.m.: Girls JV basketball vs. Fallsburg at Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School.

6:30 p.m.: Girls varsity basketball vs. Fallsburg at Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School

Saturday, Jan. 28

No events scheduled.

Sunday, Jan. 29

5 p.m.: Girls and boys varsity indoor track and field invitational vs. multiple schools at Armory Track.

The schedule is subject to change. Check  the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest.

Girls basketball games postponed

The Liberty and Eldred school districts are currently investigating reported incidents that occurred at the girls basketball game on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Because of this, the districts have decided to postpone the girls basketball games scheduled for Friday, Jan. 20, until a date to be determined, while the investigation continues.

Mascot survey available; forum planned

Dear Liberty family,

As you are aware, we will be changing our mascot following a mandate from the state Education Department banning the use of indigenous mascots, logos and imagery.

As the first step in our process making the change, we are seeking input as to what you think our next mascot should be. We encourage you to take the survey at Liberty Central School District’s Mascot Ideas Survey Link to let your voice be heard. All survey responses must be received by Feb. 17.

We will also hold a community forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, in the High School Auditorium. It will be a chance for students, faculty, staff and members of the public to ask questions, offer suggestions, and learn more about what the changes mean. Paper copies of the survey may also be filled out at the forum.

We are also looking for people who would be willing to serve on a committee that will be tasked with reviewing the surveys and narrowing down the choices to put before the public for further input. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please attend the forum. If you aren’t able to attend, please send your name and contact information (email and phone number), as well as your connection to the Liberty Central School District, to questions@libertyk12.org, with the subject of “Mascot Committee” or call 845-292-5400, ext. 2055, and leave a message with the same information.

We look forward to seeing you at the forum on Feb. 7.

Sincerely,

Dr. Patrick Sullivan

Superintendent of Schools

Liberty wrestlers compete at Eastern States girls wrestling invitational; Kip takes third

Zoe Kip and Imani Gonzague competed in the Eastern States Girls Wrestling Invitational held at SUNY Sullivan, with Kip taking third in her weight class.Girls hold paper tiles that read @Sanction— NY Four girls stand on a podium

Girls wrestling is an emerging sport and will possibly be its own sport in the next school year. “While our girls still compete as ‘mixed competition,’ meaning they compete against boys in most cases, it was a positive experience to compete in a tournament of girls only,” Liberty Athletic Director Erin Alvord said.

Kip  placed third in her 160-pound weight class, earning her a spot on the podium. She will also compete in the he first New York State Public High School Athletic Association girls wrestling invitational tournament on Jan. 27 at SRC Arena and Event Center in Syracuse

Gonzague is a strong competitor and has great hopes to finish out the season strong.

Congratulations, girls!

Sports schedule, results for Jan. 16-20, 2023

Our athletes will be in action in alpine skiing, basketball and wrestling this week.

Here is the schedule, with livestream links and results, if available:

Monday, Jan. 16

No events scheduled.

Tuesday, Jan. 17

4:15 p.m.: Boys modified basketball vs. Sullivan West Blue at Sullivan West — Lake Huntington.

5 p.m.: Boys JV basketball vs. Fallsburg at Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School.

5:45 p.m.: Girls modified basketball vs. Sullivan West Blue at Sullivan West — Lake Huntington.

5:45 p.m.: Girls JV basketball vs. Eldred at Eldred High School.

6:30 p.m.: Boys varsity basketball vs. Fallsburg at Fallsburg Junior/Senior High School.

7:15 p.m.: Girls JV basketball vs. Eldred at Eldred High School.

Wednesday, Jan. 18

11:15 a.m.: Boys and girls varsity alpine skiing: giant slalom vs. multiple schools at Belleayre.

1 p.m.: Boys and girls varsity alpine skiing: giant slalom vs. multiple schools at Holiday Mountain Ski Area.

3:15 p.m.: Boys and girls modified indoor track and field exhibition vs. multiple schools at Sullivan Community College.

6 p.m.: Varsity wrestling vs. multiple schools at Liberty Middle School

Thursday, Jan. 19

All events postponed or canceled.

Friday, Jan. 20

4:15 p.m.: Girls modified basketball vs. Tri-Valley at Liberty Middle School.

5 p.m.: Boys JV basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at James I. O’Neill High School.

5:45 p.m.: Boys modified basketball vs. Tri-Valley at Liberty Middle School.

6 p.m.: Boys and Girls varsity indoor track and field divisional vs. multiple schools at West Point United State Military Academy.

6:30 p.m.: Boys varsity basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at James I. O’Neill High School.

Saturday, Jan. 14

A person places a medal around the neck of a wrestler
Zoe Kip gets her second place medal

Wrestling Results: At a wrestling tournament in Peekskill High School, Zoe Kip went 3-1, with three pins to reach the finals.

She dropped the finals match to the No. 1 ranked girl in the state, taking second place. Cheyenne Graham went 2-0, one decision and one pin, grabbing first place in her very first tournament. 

A person places a medal around the neck of a wrestler
Cheyenne Graham gets her first-place medal

On the JV Side, Shawn Bickham took second and Adam Houser, third.

The schedule is subject to change. Check  the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest.

Sports schedule/results for Jan. 9-14, 2023

We start with a result from last week:

Saturday, Jan. 7: Jorge Reyes placed fifth at the Jamie Mormile Invitational in Ravena. Also picking up a win was Rocco Sabatini. )

Our athletes will be in action in alpine skiing, basketball and wrestling this week.

Here is the schedule, with livestream links and results, if available:

Monday, Jan. 9

5 p.m.: Girls JV Basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at James I. O’Neill High School.

5:30 p.m.: Boys JV Basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at Liberty High School.

6:30 p.m.: Girls Varsity Basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at James I. O’Neill High School. Result: A loss to the Raiders, 52-22. See more here

7 p.m.: Boys Varsity Basketball vs. James I. O’Neill at Liberty High School.

Tuesday, Jan. 10

No events scheduled.

Wednesday, Jan. 11

5 p.m.: Girls JV Basketball vs. Roscoe Central at Roscoe Central.

6:30 p.m.: Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Roscoe Central at Roscoe Central School. Results: The varsity girls basketball team had a great team win against Roscoe last night winning 37-13.  Emily Curry led the team in scoring with 11 points. See more here.

Thursday, Jan. 12

4:30 p.m.: Boys and Girls Varsity Alpine Skiing: Giant Slalom vs. multiple schools at Holiday Mountain. (EVENT CANCELED)

5 p.m.: Boys JV Basketball vs. John S. Burke Catholic at Burke Catholic High School

6:30 p.m.: Boys Varsity Basketball vs. John S. Burke Catholic at Burke Catholic High School

Friday, Jan. 13

4:30 p.m.: Girls and Boys Varsity Alpine Skiing: Slalom vs. multiple schools at Holiday Mountain. (EVENT CANCELED)

5 p.m.: Girls JV Basketball vs. Sullivan West at Liberty High School

6:30 p.m.: Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Sullivan West at Liberty High School.

Saturday, Jan. 14

Wrestling: Zoe Kip and Imani Gonzague will be participating in the Eastern States Women’s Division at SUNY Sullivan. This is one of the biggest High School tournaments in the Northeast. See the results here. 

The schedule is subject to change. Check  the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest.

Sports Schedule for Jan. 3-7, 2023

Our athletes will be in action in  basketball, indoor track and field and wrestling this week.

Here is the schedule, with livestream links, if available:

Tuesday, Jan. 3

No events scheduled

Wednesday, Jan. 4

3:15 p.m.: Boys and Girls Varsity Indoor Track and Field Invitational vs. multiple schools at Sullivan County Community College.

4:15 p.m.: Girls Modified Basketball vs. Livingston Manor at Livingston Manor.

5 p.m.: Boys JV Basketball vs. Port Jervis at Liberty High School.

6 p.m.: Varsity Wrestling vs. Multiple Schools at Ellenville High School.

7 p.m.: Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Port Jervis at Liberty High School.

Thursday, Jan. 5

4:15 p.m.: Girls Modified Basketball vs. Sullivan West (Silver) at Liberty Middle School.

5 p.m.: Girls Varsity Basketball vs. Livingston Manor at Liberty High School.

5:45 p.m.: Boys Modified Basketball vs. Sullivan West (Silver) at Liberty Middle School.

Friday, Jan. 6

5 p.m.: Boys JV Basketball vs. Chester Academy at Liberty High School

6:30 p.m.: Boys Varsity Basketball vs. Chester Academy at Liberty High School.

Saturday, Jan. 7

No events scheduled.

The schedule is subject to change. Check  the Liberty schedule on the Section 9 website for the latest.

LPD edges LCSD in first benefit basketball game

On Thursday, Nov. 10, Liberty Central School District hosted its first LCSD vs Liberty Police Department benefit basketball game, with the LPD earning a close victory.

The LCSD staff started off with a 15-0 lead but the LPD hung in there and began to chip away. The end result was a win for the LPD, 57-52.

The Liberty Police Department and Liberty Central School District staff basketball teams pose for a photo on the court.Playing for LPD were Chief D’Agata (#330), Sgt. Morse (#134), Sgt. Sauer (#115), Officer Persell (#72), Officer Jones (#66), Officer Burgio (#62), SRO Lake (#60), Detective Lowe (#58), Detective Cross (#57), Officer Ventura (#43) and Officer Williams (#14). The team was coached by Elementary SRO Sgt. Poppo (#146), with Team Managers/Cheerleaders Dispatcher Herbert (#26) and Dispatcher Kinne (#24).

On the LCSD roster were Gina Castelonia, Chris Dedonato, Beth Quatrale, Richard Feeney, Dennis James, Joe Franke, Roothland Medina, David Philips, Andrew Philips, Peter Owens, Jamie Black, Jose Bayron, Matt Robinson, Matt Stoddard, Brad Molusky, Elizabeth Hannold, Katie Chakar, Felix Colon, Derek Adams and Dr. Patrick Sullivan. The team was coached by
Stephen Matuszak and Erin Alvord.

Liberty’s own High School School Resource Officer, LPD officer and Head Football Coach Adam Lake had a great part in helping Athletic Director Erin Alvord organize the event.

The game, held in the high school gym, raised more than $1,000 for the Ron Francisco Memorial Scholarship fund through the door fee, donations from the community and a donation from the LPD. The Liberty Physical Education staff awards a scholarship through the fund to seniors at the end of each school year.

The Liberty PE staff thanks Officer/Coach Lake and the LPD for a fun evening and for their generous donation. Staff also thanks Ralph Bressler for singing the national anthem, announcing and running the score board; Mike Bernstein and Edwin Rodriguez, two league officials for officiating the game; Yovanni Fields for taking pictures, Mrs. Bull, Poala Ponce and Tatiana Robelledo of our yearbook class for taking pictures; our chaperones; the Junior Class for selling refreshments; and most of all to the students and community for coming out and supporting this event.

LCSD is ready for a rematch and hopes to make the game an annual event.
Galleries of photos  and videos , courtesy of Yovanni Fields, are available online

Liberty sports are being livestreamed

Do you want to watch one of Liberty’s home games but can’t make to the field? No worries. Our home events are being livestreamed. To watch, check out Liberty’s page on Local Live

There you will find the schedule and links to all upcoming games.

Up next is varsity football against New Paltz at 1 p.m Saturday, Sept. 24.

Now, you can cheer our teams on wherever you are!

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