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Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

Student News of Liberty High School

LHStoday

A Different Style of Sharks and Minnows

An overview of the annual Swofford game between staff and students
Henry+Ragsdale+protects+the+ball+from+Chip+Sodemann+as+he+makes+his+way+to+the+basket.
Anna Simms
Henry Ragsdale protects the ball from Chip Sodemann as he makes his way to the basket.

Excitement filled the gymnasium as the teachers and students prepared to face each other in the annual Swofford Game. This year, the seniors brought hope and encouragement to the other students of the school, as this game was the closest between the students and teachers than in previous years.

While the teachers did prevail 41-26 for the ninth consecutive time on April 4, everyone understood the tradition and meaning behind the game.

The Swofford Game is played at every Wentzville high school in order to honor the memory of Scott Swofford, a former coach and teacher from both Timberland and Holt. Coach Swofford was known and remembered as a man who was loved by all. In order to honor him, his wife, Runa Swofford organized this annual event and will later present two scholarships, each worth $1,000 to two LHS seniors.

Staff members Karl Ladage and Bradley Smith show their excitement as they are called out onto the court. (Anna Simms)

Seniors are able to sign up to compete in a basketball game against Liberty’s own teachers and staff. The district doesn’t just offer the schools an exciting game, however, a scholarship is also given under coach Swofford’s name to a female and male student from each high school.

Coach Swofford showed his love for two different high schools of the district. This scholarship is a way for people to not only remember coach Swofford, but to also show how much he cares about his district.

Mr. Wheeler started the event by making a few announcements. He has always had a passion for this event, as he used to play every year. This year, he was happy to see the skills of the seniors from the sidelines and to kick off the event. Coach Wheeler stated that the Swofford game is a fantastic event that happens every year. “It’s fun, but it’s also for such a great cause,” he said.

After the announcements, he welcomed counselor, Ms. Shelly Gerringer, onto the court to give some inspiring words. Ms. Gerringer has expressed that she loves how this game has become a tradition as well as a huge fundraiser. She has always hoped that when this event comes every year, that it reminds people of the importance of it. She hopes that the students see this as something much more than just a game. Ms. Gerringer expressed her hopes that they understand how coach Swofford’s legacy has helped many students over the years, even after his departure.

After her speech, Mr. Datz led the choir students out onto the court to sing the national anthem. Shortly after, Coach Wheeler announced the senior lineup. The seniors wore yellow shirts, representing minnows, and the teachers wore blue shirts, representing sharks. This was chosen in order to show encouragement and excitement for prom, whose theme was “Under the Sea.” Then, the game finally took off.

The game started off with an even pace from each side. The seniors and teachers each scored back-to-back baskets. Tyson Mills was one of the players that showed an extraordinary amount of skill, and was the first to score for the senior’s team. Mills had been looking forward to this event ever since he arrived at Liberty. He was excited to see everyone coming together to watch and cheer them on as they faced the teachers.

Isabella Tenorio, Naara Robles, Alysha Sims, and Diana Flores welcome English teacher Ms. Elizabeth Tarrant-Oliphant to dance with them. (Anna Simms)

As the game continued in the first half, so did the increase in each team’s points. The students started to grow with excitement as the seniors proved how skilled they were. Many seniors showed some great defense and hustling such as Cannon Cunningham, Megan Geisler, and Nicos Cadice. By the end of the first half, the teachers led with a score of 17-14. This incredible close game filled the students with hope that the seniors might win this year.

The halftime performances brought many smiles to the audience. One performance starred Isabella Tenorio, Naara Robles, Alysha Sims, and Diana Flores, whose choreography kept the spirits of the students up. What really surprised everyone, however, was English teacher Ms. Elizabeth Tarrant-Oliphant, who gave a small solo performance.

The other performance was displayed by the Spirit Squad, lead by helpers Addison Sheffield and Olivia Fehling. The squad arrived on to the court with pompoms waving in the air, encouraging the school to shout with them. Fehling stated that she loves her position. “It’s fun to try to teach other girls what I love to do,” she said. Not only does Fehling believe that this is a good cause, but it is also a great chance to give the Spirit Squad to perform.

Once the performances were finished, the nominees for prom king and queen were announced and the second half began.

Members from the senior team cheer on the players on the court. (Anna Simms)

The final half began, and in less than an instant, the teachers took control of the court. They began to score multiple points, as the time went by, but the seniors didn’t make it easy. Henry Ragsdale was one of the seniors who showed a great display of confidence as he rushed back and forth down the court. Ragsdale stated that he felt the seniors did a pretty good job against the teachers and was happy that he was able to be a part of the team that was the closest to beating the teachers.

Coach Sodemann, one of the teacher players, gave an excellent performance on the court, showing off his experience. Sodemann stated how much he loved having this tradition established as soon as the school opened. He also liked how this event also awards two students scholarships and believes that anything they can do to help is good.

The Swofford game is a big deal for teachers and students alike. For Senior Aiden King, it was more of some friendly competition. “For me, Coach Sodemann was my rival for the game,” King said. 

Coach Luedecke is usually one of the standout players in the Swofford game but he admits he was off his game this day. “I didn’t play as well as I usually do, but at least the staff still came out with the win,” Luedecke said. 

In the end, the game ended with a score of 41-26, with the teachers winning. This was the closest match that has ever taken place at Liberty. While the seniors didn’t win, this did spark a ton of excitement and people left the gymnasium discussing the event with their friends. Another game has been played, and two more lucky students will receive a scholarship, all thanks to the legacy of Scott Swofford.

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About the Contributors
Henry Sartain
Henry Sartain, Reporter
Henry Sartain is a senior and this is his second class involving publications. He has been at Liberty for all of his years in high school and when he’s not at school he loves to go on walks and watch TV. In his junior year, he was a part of journalism. He went out to get interviews with teachers and students and wrote stories about their accomplishments or the events they were a part of. He took many pictures of all kinds of events happening around the school, including Student Council, performances, and sports.
Parker Sethaler
Parker Sethaler, Reporter
Parker Sethaler is a junior and this is his third year in publications. Parker excels in filming and editing videos, most of them being on the publications Youtube channel. Aside from making videos, Parker also loves to listen to music, specifically rap and hip-hop. Out of school, he likes to play on his Xbox and hang out with friends. He currently works at Gymquarters Gymnastics Center, as a coach. Parker hopes to work on the sideline of sports games in the future.

Will Bohn
Will Bohn, Reporter
Will Bohn is a sophomore and is in his first year doing journalism and is also in his second year of publications. His first year of publication he only did the broadcast for the football games but this year is planning on doing more. He hopes publications can improve his skill in video editing and hopefully take it to a more professional approach. Some of his favorite hobbies are listening to music, playing video games, and video editing.
Anna Simms
Anna Simms, Editor-in-Chief of LHStoday.org
Anna Simms is the editor-in-chief of LHStoday.org and this is her third year in publications. She is also in her senior year and second year at SCC. After high school, Anna plans on going to a university to study biomedical sciences, and later get a doctorate. She is also a part of Liberty’s drama club as an executive board member, and has done both acting and tech. Outside of school, you can find Anna either taking photos, editing, hanging out with friends, listening to music, or reading!

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