LIBERTY — The Liberty school district cleaned up at this year’s ESPY Awards by taking home six different awards.
Sports Radio 810 WHB partnered with ESPN for the second straight year to award Honorary ESPYS for sports figures in the Kansas City area.
A pair of Liberty North juniors took both of the Missouri athlete of the year awards.
Ethan Lee won the Male High School Athlete of the Year on the Missouri side for his accomplishments as an Eagles runner. Lee won four state titles in track and field while also taking third at state in cross country.
Lee won state track titles in the 800 meter, 1600 meter, 4x400-meter relay and 4x800-meter relay. His performance surpassed the previous best state outing from the Eagles when Andrew Madison took home two individual state titles and a relay state title in 2014.
Addison Beagle took home Missouri’s Female Athlete of the Year for her role as the setter on an undefeated state championship volleyball team. Beagle previously won the Gatorade Missouri Volleyball Player of the Year.
Beagle amassed 58 kills, 197 digs, 31 blocks and 57 service aces as she led the team to 24 straight wins, which included 15 sweeps.
Liberty North’s volleyball team continued to collect ESPYs hardware as the team won Female KC Metro School/Team of the Year award while head coach Katie Dowden took home the KC Metro Coach of the Year.
Dowden added to the growing list of accomplishments for her work as the head coach of an Eagles team that completed an historic season. She also won the 2020 American Volleyball Coaches Association Region Coach of the Year for Missouri and the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association Girls Coach of the Year for Missouri Class 5.
Dowden won the award despite initially being left off the ballot when voting started. Her name was added when the omission was pointed out on social media.
Eagles assistant coach Megan Laws replied to Sports Radio 810’s tweet promoting the ballot on June 26 and asked “where is the love” for the female teams and coaches — the Female KC Metro School/Team of the year category was also missing from the ballot when it first went live.
The station said in a tweet, sent through its 810 Varsity account, that it accidentally omitted that category and Dowden’s entry in the coaching category. The information was quickly added to the ballot.
Liberty pulled down two awards as well. Wentric Williams III won the Perseverance Award and Kenneth “Kage” Lenger III won the Champions Leadership Award.
The Perseverance Award is given to an individual who has overcome adversity in extremely challenging circumstances. Williams earned the honor for his continued excellence as a student-athlete despite facing a family tragedy. His father, Wentric Williams II, died suddenly from an aneurysm on Sept. 26, 2020. The junior running back twice dedicated performances to his father.
First, Williams rushed for 249 rushing yards and four touchdowns against Rock Bridge less than a week after his father’s death. The Liberty football team ultimately won the Suburban Gold conference championship in the team’s first season since moving up from the Suburban Red.
Williams produced another emotional performance when he completed his quest for a state title in wrestling by taking first in the 182-pound division at the Missouri Class 4 state tournament in March.
Kage Lenger earned his award as he joined Williams in taking home a state title, at 138 pounds, to help lead the Jays to a second straight state championship as a team.
Lenger started the year by playing a key role in Liberty’s cross country team taking third at state. The Jays were unable to secure an automatic team bid at districts, but Lenger secured the team its fifth state qualifier to earn the ability to compete for a team trophy at state.
Lenger’s Champions Leadership Award is given to an individual who has won a significant sporting event while also being a servant leader and/or team captain.
The sole senior ESPY winner in this group, Lenger will continue his wrestling career at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.