Liberty Christian football rises to new heights with first regional title
The Bulldogs defeated Heritage to advance to the Class 3 semifinals.
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Amid the celebration of Liberty Christian’s Region 3C title win over Heritage last Friday, Bulldogs coach Frank Rocco repeated something he said about this year when it started: that 2021 would be the best ever for LCA Athletics.
“I mean, I don’t want to over-spiritualize, but I think it truly is a God thing,” said Rocco. “Every school around was going through such down times with COVID, that I kind of made those statements hoping to pump our student-athletes up a little bit and give them a little bit of hope.”
What ensued was the LCA boys basketball team winning a regional title, and the football team following suit, ending the Pioneers’ quest for a four-peat with a 30-14 home victory.
The turning point came in the third when Will Wycoff forced a Heritage fumble deep in Pioneer territory that was picked up by his twin brother, Cade, who promptly scored on the ensuing possession.
“They really had the momentum at that point and, next thing I know, I just see the ball pop out loose and I didn’t know who hit him, and I just picked it up,” sai Cade Wycoff. “The next play we were able to score on it. I actually didn’t find out until after the game that it was my brother Will who hit him. I thought it was one of our middle linebackers.”
The senior brothers, who play different positions on both sides of the ball, have been instrumental in the Bulldogs’ current six-game winning streak, in what has been their best season since joining the VHSL in 2015.
“We’ve always had great coaching but our players just continue to get better and I think this season, everyone’s bought in and we just continue to progress each game and each week and we’ve come a long way this season,” said Will Wycoff.
But what stands ahead is arguably the toughest task yet: a state semifinal matchup against the unbeaten Cavaliers of Lord Botetourt, who Rocco says present a challenge his team hasn’t faced yet this year.
“It’s like playing the Green Bay Packers,” he said. “They’re just so big, you know, tall big. Heritage was all 300 pounds across the front, but they were all 6′1”, 6-foot. These guys are like Paul Bunyan-type guys. It’s going to be a 48-minute war and our kids are going to have to be willing to just fight until the end.”
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