Liberty Flames: Game of life more important than game of football

The team practiced 5 times before things were put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Year one of the Hugh Freeze era at Liberty had its ups, its downs and plenty of historic moments. But before any football was played, one of the biggest challenges was for the head coach himself who battled serious health issues during fall camp. A series of back spasms led to surgery for a life-threatening staph infection in mid-August.

Liberty released a video in August 2019 with Freeze addressing Flames Nation from a hospital bed, where he stated, “Have gratitude for every day that you have, every chance you get to do what you get to do, during the good and the bad times.”

Because of what he went through, Freeze said it’s made him more sympathetic to the coronavirus pandemic that has affected thousands, near and far.

“The health scare that I went through probably gives me more sensitivity to the fact that this could be very serious for a lot of people,” Freeze said during a video conference call with the media last week.

The Liberty Flames were eager to get back on the field this spring and for good reason. They’re coming off the programs first bowl game appearance down in Orlando at the Cure Bowl, where they defeated Georgia Southern 23-16. The team practiced five times before things were put on hold.

“I really thought they met or chased the standard we wanted for five practices. It certainly is not worth the risk if we don’t have a control on this virus. I think that’s why all football coaches are stressing to their players, fans, families to take this thing seriously so that we can hopefully get back to doing what we all love to do,” said Freeze.

But in the meantime doing the more important things for a game bigger than football.

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