Taekwondo Tryouts Begin for Brand New Season
After two weeks of tryouts, the Liberty Club Taekwondo roster has been set, and Head Coach Tom Childress is preparing his squad for the season ahead.
Students of all skill and experience levels were welcomed to participate in tryouts, with the program more than willing to mold and shape those who are new to the sport. A fresh crop of athletes will join a talented returning class for what the team hopes will be another special year.
The Flames are looking to build off a successful 2021 season. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the only match Liberty was able to compete in last year was the NCTA Collegiate Nationals.
An exceptionally light regular season, however, did not hold these Flames back when they arrived at nationals.
Out of the nine athletes that Liberty sent, six of them brought home medals, including two champions in Jenna Greene and Leonardo Chang.
Alongside Green and Chang, the team will return 10 student athletes and have added many new athletes to their squad this year as well.
Childress said this team has much loftier goals than winning medals or even championships.
“We want to build a community here — build good relationships,” Childress said. “When my athletes look back at their time at Liberty as a whole, I want them to be grateful for the time they spent here on this team and the relationships they built.”
As successful as this team is athletically, the athletes also value teamwork and service at the highest level. Of course, Childress would love to see his team be as successful at finals this year as it was last year, but it is just as important to this team to build a lasting bond with each other that will be treasured for much longer than medals ever could be.
The Flames will kick off their 2022 season at the MIT Tournament Oct. 22 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The team will then return home for the Atlantic Collegiate Alliance of Taekwondo Tournament Nov. 12, hosted by Liberty. In this tournament, the group will take on athletes from Duke, Clemson and other top ACC schools in the nation.
Young is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion