Unofficial Athletics

A closer look at some of the sports clubs around the school.

Derek Katzer, Lucas Kilgore

LHS is flourishing with clubs and activities in every corner of the school. Looking for them is key. Some of the unofficial sports around the school have been growing and have caught on with real traction among the student body. Trapshooting, west coast swing dance, spikeball and ultimate frisbee are all options that students can enjoy.

West Coast Swing Dance

West coast swing dance club teaches new and experienced members alike.

Through work and sweat, an aspiring group of dancers practice furiously while still having fun. West Coast Swing is a dance that has evolved through the years to take on a modern twist.

“West Coast Swing is just a dance group we formed on the whim, but it seems to really taken off and for the most part it’s gotten a lot of popularity for a one on one leader and follower dance group,” junior Cameron Eldridge said.

The club caters to both beginners and experienced dancers.

“Most of the dance moves are very basic. Sometimes, for people who have been in the club since semester one like myself and maybe four or five others, we are all considered level two’s. We learn harder dances and we do a lot more complicated footwork on our own. The level ones that are coming in are very talented at dancing,” Eldrige said.

The club has rich origins in other types of dances from the 1920’s and 30’s.

“It’s a derivative of lindy hop which was created during the 1920’s and 30’s,” club sponsor Brad Gallow said. “It’s the dance that you can kind of imagine being done to big band music. People are jumping around and throwing people in the air. We don’t really do that in west coast swing, it’s evolved a lot to be mostly on the ground and done mostly to pop music. It’s still called a swing dance because there is a very clear swing action in the dancers’ movement. It’s also done to a swung rhythm.”

West coast swing dance club wants to make sure everybody who wants to participate can.

“Just drop by if you have any questions,” Gallow said. “We always try to accept new people and we are going to teach from the very bottom.”

Ultimate Frisbee

As the floating frisbee sails through the air, all are watching. One student jumps into the air, arms seemingly reaching for the sky. Alas, the frisbee continues its path unscathed, towards its intended target. Will they catch it? Will they drop it?

Scenes like this happen often Thursday mornings for the members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The game they enjoy: ultimate frisbee.

In ultimate frisbee, the game only requires minimum equipment, a frisbee and some players. Students throw the frisbee towards their end zone while only being able to pivot one foot when in possession of the frisbee while dropping the frisbee.

“I played ultimate frisbee on the Truman State Ultimate Frisbee team in college,” sponsor Ryan Brewer said. “Since I’m familiar with the rules and have the equipment, we started playing ultimate frisbee as the activity portion of our meeting.”

Frisbee is enjoyable for people of all skill levels, but that doesn’t stop people from showing off their athletic abilities in the sport, creating laughs and smiles along the way.

“One time my friend Grant Stubbs jumped over my friend Quinton and caught the frisbee, he does that frequently,” senior Caleb Ezzell said. “Whenever we make those really athletic plays, it’s always something to remember.”

Although the game is only played for fun, sometimes the urge to be competitive is hard to resist.

“Because I am so competitive, I can sometimes end up diving on the court to catch the frisbee,” senior Peter Mallon said. “Because of that, I now have three pairs of sweatpants that have holes in the left leg. The worst part is when you don’t end up catching the frisbee and you’re left with a hole in your pants.”

FCA hopes this easy to learn, fun activity will encourage students to join FCA.

“Ultimate frisbee is our go-to game at FCA and that is partly because Mr. Brewer, our club sponsor, played ultimate frisbee in college and so he is a big proponent of the sport,” Mallon said. “Also, it’s a really easy game to understand and to play that requires hardly any equipment at all. The game has gotten so popular among the members of FCA.”

Spikeball

The wrestling room during Liberty Hour is full of laughter and smiles, with a hint of competitiveness, as the LHS wrestling team plays their favorite pastime, spikeball.

In spikeball, the game requires a net on the ground, a ball and four players in partners. With only three touches, players must keep the ball in the air, hitting the net on the third touch, bouncing the ball towards their opponents. With it’s 2v2 playstyle, spikeball helps the wrestlers develop faith in each other.

“It creates a bond,” sophomore Wentric Williams III said. “It works on trusting the other players and instincts. It’s building bonds with the other teammates.”

The wrestlers often played spikeball before practice and tournaments, so head wrestling coach Dustin Brewer agreed to sponsor the spikeball club.

“It’s a good way to spend time with a lot of my wrestlers,” Brewer said. “The game is a lot of fun and funny things always happen, such as

people diving for the ball, or falling trying to score points.”

Playing spikeball has created fun memories for wrestlers. The smiles said it all as they seemingly danced around the nets, attempting to score against their opponents.

“The Liberty Wrestling team hosted a tournament for spikeball last year,” junior Daniel Beach said. “I think we had 25 teams last year with two players per team. I also played in a different tournament on the weekend down in Olathe that was really fun. I know there are a lot of colleges that have spikeball now, so depending on where I go for college, I would like to play spikeball in college.”

Trapshooting

No matter warm or cold, the trapshooting team meets to practice every week.

As a combined team with LNHS, the club practices grow is friends, teammates and competitors.

“There are clays, they come out of the trap that randomizes where they fly. Basically your job is to break them and if you don’t break them then you don’t score,” sophomore Aiden Gansen said.

During practice, new shooters and experienced shooters alike practice to improve their scores.

“You get there, then you form your squad,” sophomore Alden Dietrich said. “Your squad is made up of five people. Then you go shoot two rounds of 25.”

“The team’s priorities, in order of importance, are safety, fun and marksmanship,” club sponsor and coach Laurel Shoger said. “The goals while shooting are, one, safe handling/ storage of each firearm; two, maintaining concentration, stance, and breath; and three, successfully hit as many clay targets as possible.”

The club grows in members each year as more students decide to try the sport of trapshooting.

“The sport of trapshooting is an equal opportunity sport, so it is for anyone interested,” Shoger said. “For example, the LPS trap teams are made up of male and female LPS students from sixth to twelfth grade.”

Shooters are expected to provide their own shotguns and buy their own shells.