Salina Liberty

Years of Existence: 2016-
Venue: Bicentennial Center (Salina, KS)
2017 -
2018 - Semifinal appearance
2019 - Championship game appearance
2021 - Championship game appearance
2022 - CIF Champions
2023 - Championship game appearance
Lifetime Record: 51-38
Home: 31-17
Away: 20-21
Playoffs: 6-4
Average Attendance: 1,900

The Salina Liberty replaced the Bombers after three years. Three players split time at quarterback for the new franchise: Derek Racette, Keahn Wallace, and Joe Kassanavoid. The three combined to throw for 32 touchdowns, 22 picks, and 1,756 yards. Kassanavoid also spent time at wide receiver, catching 40 balls for 445 yards and six scores. Racette ran for 200 yards and seven scores, leading all rushers. The Liberty defense managed just five sacks on the year and 17 picks. Salina scored 34 points per game and managed two victories against Dodge City and Chicago. The team returned in 2017 and posted a 1-11 season with a road victory at Bloomington. The team gained traction in 2018, going 10-4 and winning a first round playoff bout against Bismarck. Derrick Bernard passed for 1,766 yards, 49 touchdowns and 13 picks. He led all rushers with 21 scores, as well. Julian Stafford and Rashard Dargo were the top targets in the passing game. The team would fall 45-39 in the second round of the playoffs to Sioux City, with both teams scoring just once in the final frame. The team returned to success in 2019 with a Champions Bowl appearance against the Duke City Gladiators, falling 35-29. In 2021, Tyrie Adams and Mitch Kidd navigated the team back to the Champions Bowl for a second consecutive season, passing for 1,737 combined yards, 47 touchdowns and a mere five interceptions. Leading all receivers was Ed Smith, with 35 catches for 545 yards and 15 touchdowns. Omaha would win its first ever league title at the hands of the Liberty, 40-39. The Liberty returned in 2022, with the rushing attack leading the way. Treveon Griffin ran for 322 yards and twelve scores; Triston Gould 225-6; Tracy Brooks 163-7. The Liberty defense allowed just fourteen rushing touchdowns against. Demarius Washington led all Salina receivers with 35 receptions for 522 yards and thirteen touchdowns. Four quarterbacks split significant time. Javin Kilgo spent the most time behind center, with 67 completions for 806 yards, fifteen tocuhdowns and three interceptions. Salina earned a first round bye in the playoffs, following a 7-3 regular season. The Liberty led Billings 20-0 into the fourth quarter before ultimately defeating them 26-14 and earnign a third straight championship game berth. This time, Salina found itself down 26-14 at the half to Omaha on home turf. However, the Liberty put up a 22-0 run and took the CIF championship 38-34.Two second half interceptions helped seal the victory, along with two stops on downs. Salina remained at the top of the league in 2023 and would have a chance to defend their Champions Bowl VII title. An 8-2 regular season made the Liberty the second seed in the playoffs, behind the unbeaten Omaha Beef. The two teams would meet again in Champions Bowl VIII and Omaha rolled to a 50-30 victory. Statistics for the Salina 2023 season were incomplete at the time of this writing.