Nick Ellis can lead Freedom back into the elite of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference with his ability to rebound, defend, and pass better than most players in his league.
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Freedom High School boasts a proud tradition of academic excellence and pride. Their teachers are committed to helping their students reach their full potential both academically and athletically, teaching values such as teamwork and perseverance while imparting invaluable lessons on dealing with adversity in life. Known as one of the premier schools in Northern Virginia.
The school offers various programs and is associated with the state athletics association, providing opportunities to participate for students interested in more than football and basketball, such as soccer and track and field. Furthermore, its large stadium can seat 10,000 people.
Over the years, its athletic programs have garnered many honors and awards, including a state championship in football. Notable Athletes of the Year include Marisa DeStasio, who excelled at both field hockey and basketball, as well as John Truby, who excelled in both football and wrestling – with other major awards including the Geraldine Steinbach Scholarship, Marion B Goodman Award, and Bill DeNofa Scholarship among them.
Freedom’s boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams achieved remarkable success this year, winning tournament titles as well as metro conference, district, and state final four appearances. Coach Gina McFerren led her boy’s team to first in the state and fourth in national rankings.
At every point of the tournament, Amore Connelly led his Patriots team with his impressive guard play – earning MVP honors and scoring 24 points during tournament play – joining Dyson Dellinger and Philly Harris on the all-tournament team.
A school’s sports program serves as a reflection of its core values in its classrooms and community. Coaches aim to help their athletes realize their full potential while imparting important life lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives.
Freedom High School coaches work tirelessly to help student-athletes realize their full potential, imparting lessons that extend far beyond sports fields. Their coaches strive to foster a sense of community for students pursuing passions outside of athletics while forging lasting friendships; furthermore, they strive to cultivate competition as an invaluable life lesson and emphasize excellence over complacency.
Julia Mohrbacher loves competing, be it soccer or basketball. Whenever she takes to a field, her presence can be felt, and she thoroughly enjoys putting forth her best effort for Freedom area Bulldogs. That is why Julia was delighted to receive the Beaver County Times Female Athlete of the Year award this year – an accolade with significant recognition and benefits attached.
Last season, she helped lead the Lady Bulldogs to their inaugural PIAA semifinal appearance and will continue her career this fall at Waynesburg University. In her senior season, she lettered in both volleyball and basketball while earning All-EPC and All-District honors in both sports; additionally, she became one of Waynesburg University’s fastest to join the 1,000-point club!
Emmaus may have fallen short of making the state tournament, but that should not detract from their achievements. Emmaus beat District 11 champion Liberty 77-66 to return to state bracket play after missing it last year. They will face Hempfield (third place District 3) for their opening round matchup on March 11th.
At the awards dinner, other athletes honored included baseball player Michael Santella and footballer Kyle Moore; girls tracker Colleen Makovsky was kept, along with boys tracker Christopher Kerecz; golfers Karine Montoro and Autumn Stevenson received recognition; softball’s Melissa Lee and Stephanie Hartzell also won acclaim while Sharon Bouis and Autumn Stevenson of tennis were recognized with Bill DeNofa awards and Geraldine Steinbach Scholarships, respectively. A complete list of winners can be seen below.
Clubs and Organizations
Students enrolled at Freedom High School participate in an array of clubs and organizations. From playing sports teams to theater productions and academic competitions, as well as community service activities and charity fundraising efforts that raise money for various causes – there is something to engage students at every turn at Freedom. It helps build leadership skills as well as get them out of the classroom!
Freedom High School in Morganton is home to three A schools. Freedom features as its mascot the Patriot and features colors of red, white, and blue. Freedom competes as part of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA). Their football stadium can hold 10,000 people while their track and field facilities seat 2,500 spectators – and they host varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball, volleyball, and wrestling teams!
Kelli Gill is like the unofficial mayor of her school. When walking the hallways of Bethlehem Area High School in Bethlehem Area, her two-sport district athlete is met by cheering from almost everyone she passes by. Although Gill enjoys playing ice hockey, flag football, and softball through programs like Miracle League and Special Olympics, basketball and track and field have provided the greatest confidence boosts to her confidence levels.
At Prince William County School, they honor those affected by 9/11 with a memorial featuring a 62-foot sundial and placing wreaths with names of victims on September 11 each year. Football games also observe moments of silence for victims.
Unified Sports League at our school, an initiative of the Special Olympics Northern California Schools Partnership Program, unites special and general education students by creating teams based around similar sporting abilities – providing an ideal way for them to build friendships across classroom walls.
After Freedom Life Skills team member Andrew made his opening basket, cheers filled the gym. Students on both teams were thrilled to be playing together; teammates from both squads welcomed them with open arms; some recruited while others signed up on their own; despite any differences among themselves, they worked well together and supported each other regardless of performance levels.
Friday night in Joseph J. McIntyre Gymnasium, Liberty raced out to an early 10-point advantage in the opening quarter and a 14-8 lead at halftime. Coach Nigel Long credits Liberty’s success to its ability to make quick adjustments and find teammates on both sides of the ball.
But something changed in the second half, starting with an Ellis transition basket off a steal and Tillett’s coast-to-coast layup off of it. A couple of free throws by KJ Mangroo followed, giving Freedom a 42-43 lead with 7:42 remaining. Liberty responded by switching from man-to-zone defense to 1-3-1 trapping defense, restricting Ellis and Tillett from making plays of their own.
Within seven minutes, Gill helped lead her Patriots team to a 54-49 win that gave them sole possession of first place in EPC East. It was another sign of the close bonds Gill shares with her classmates: Baiardi shares her interest in law enforcement, Star Wars, and Spider-Man with Gill; in fact, Gill wears her Spider-Man jacket when shooting at the three-point line at school! In addition to hitting three-pointers, she plays ice hockey and flag football and competes on track and field and basketball teams while recently taking up the javelin and shot put events for herself this year!