Those worries now belong to Kyle Stewart, who helped Easley turn its program around to win 9 games last season and reach the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1997.
The 2011 schedule was released last week. The opponents are the same that Liberty faced for last year’s 1-10 season. Stewart and his assistant coaches will try to produce a better record for the Red Devils this year.
Liberty opens again at home Aug. 26 against Christ Church. A single A power, Christ Church defeated the Hurricanes 48-14 last year. Two years ago on Liberty’s home field, the Red Devils lost 44-7. Christ Church finished the season 12-1, losing in the A playoffs in the third round.
Liberty travels to Pickens Sept. 2. The Blue Flame defeated Liberty 52-13 last year and 69-13 two years ago at Bruce Field. Pickens was able to win two games in Western AAA play and earn a playoff spot, but fell in the first round to Union County.
Sept. 9 Liberty host former Appalachian AA opponent Walhalla. Last year the Razorbacks won 42-22, and the next week defeated Crescent. But Walhalla lost every remaining game on their schedule and finished the season 2-8. Two years ago, when Walhalla was still in Appalachian AA school, the Razorbacks won 34-14. Both games were played at Walhalla, so Liberty will host the Razorbacks for the first time in three years.
Sept. 16 the Red Devils host another single A Blacksburg. Last year Blacksburg defeated Liberty 41-27. Blacksburg finished the season with a 6-4 record then lost to Abbeville in the first round of the Single A playoffs.
Sept. 23 Liberty will face another Single a opponent in Landrum. Last year on their home field, the Red Devils lost 56-14. Two years ago at Landrum, Liberty fell 42-20.
Last year Landrum finished the regular season 7-3, but lost to Calhoun County in the first round of the playoffs.
Sept. 30 play opens in the Appalachian AA conference with Liberty traveling to Chesnee. Chesnee, which finished in a three-way tire for first place in Appalachian AA with Pendleton and Palmetto last year, defeated Liberty 49-0 last year.
Chesnee finished the regular season with a 7-3 record, then defeated Newberry in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to Central in the second round.
Liberty host Palmetto Oct. 7. The Mustangs defeated Liberty 56-28 last season.
Palmetto finished the regular season 8-2, losing the final game 7-6 to Pendleton, causing the three-way tie for first place. The Mustangs defeated Emerald in the first round of the playoffs, but lost to Columbia in the second round.
Liberty then hosts Pendleton Oct. 14. Liberty lost 49-20 last year. Two years ago, the last time the Bulldogs came to Liberty, the Red Devils fell 47-0.
Pendleton opened the season by going 1-4 in non-conference play, but evened their record by going 4-1 in the Appalachian AA. Pendleton ended up playing on the road in the first round of the playoffs and fell to Mid-Carolina.
Liberty plays at Carolina Academy Oct. 21. Last year the Trojans won 14-0.
Carolina finished the season 5-5 before falling to Woodruff in the first round of the playoffs.
Liberty plays Crescent Oct. 28 at home. Last year Crescent was Liberty’s only victim, falling to the Red Devils 45-26 in the final game of the season. Two years ago, Crescent won 34-7.
Aug. 26 CHRIST CHURCH
Sept. 2 at Pickens
Sept. 9 WALHALLA
Sept. 16 BLACKSBURG
Sept. 23 at Landrum
Sept. 30 at Chesnee
Oct. 7 PALMETTO
Oct. 14 PENDLETON
Oct. 21 at Carolina Academy
Oct. 28 at CRESCENT