4A No. 6: Frisco Liberty facing transition season

ESPNDallas.com counts down the top area football teams in our spring rankings.


Spring game: No spring game

Coach: Galen Zimmerman

2010 record: 12-1, 7-0 in District 9-4A (champions)

2010 playoffs: Lost in Division II regional semifinals to Bastrop, 38-24.

Returning starters: 1 on offense; 6 on defense

Key losses: RB Jay Ajayi, WR Malcolm Hill, WR Cameron Brown, OT Ryan Clark, OL Hunter Clark, LB Armani Edwards

Key returnees: QB Zach Smith, DL Andrew Allen, DL Drew Percle, DB Lewis Hill, DB Iziah Robinson, DB Stan Shepherd

Key newcomer: RB Alonte Ryan

Overview: Liberty's meteoric rise to an elite 4A program in the area was fueled partly by the effects of expansion in Frisco ISD, but that will become an obstacle for Liberty going forward. Liberty has a small senior class for the 2011 season because that class was split between Liberty and Frisco Heritage. ... Liberty's offense returns just one starter in QB Smith, who Zimmerman said the team will lean on more in 2011 with RB Ajayi (2,219 yards, 35 touchdowns) graduated. ... Junior to-be Ryan will assume the bulk of the running load for the Redhawks. ... All-district DBs Lewis Hill and Robinson will play WR in addition to DB. ... Liberty's defense has talent returning at defensive line with 9-4A defensive MVP Allen and Percle returning. ... The secondary should also be a strength with three returning all-district players. ... Zimmerman's biggest task on defense will be to find linebackers after three of the four starters graduated. … Liberty will not play a true spring game because of thin numbers. Instead, the Redhawks are playing weekly scrimmages.