When Ryan Partridge left Liberty following the 2019 football season, Mike Cable applied for the job, thinking that he’d be unlikely to be considered. While the job ultimately went to Matt Hoefs, Cable was considered, going through the interview process. Liberty and the Brentwood community left an impression on him. The feeling was mutual.
After the 2021 season, Hoefs stepped down as Liberty’s coach after two years. When the job came open, Cable, who’d spent the previous four years as the varsity coach at Prospect High School in Saratoga, again became a candidate. This time, he got the job.
All of Cable’s high school coaching experience has been at Prospect High School. He was initially hired as a strength and conditioning coach, a job he held for one year. After that, Cable became the junior varsity head coach for the next three seasons and led the varsity program for the four after that. But Liberty was an ideal scenario for Cable.
“When I first went through the interview process, everything I heard about Brentwood, people kept talking about the community aspect,” he recalled. “It was everything I wanted, to coach at a school that has such support, and as a father, for my girls to have that sense of community.”
Cable is used to building a program. In his first year at Prospect, the Panthers went 2-8. But they went 5-5 the following season, then 5-0 in the spring, 2021 season. At Liberty, he’s inheriting a program that went 5-5 against a grueling schedule in the fall 2021 season and 3-2 in Bay Valley Athletic League play.
Returning from that team is dual-threat quarterback Nate Bell, who’s entering his third year at starting quarterback. Liberty’s leading receiver from the 2021 season, Ryan Mckendry, will also return, as will Ty Ternes and Darell Carr, who led the Lions in tackles and interceptions, respectively, in 2021.
But through spring and summer practices, Cable has been impressed with the number of players the program has to offer.
“It’s been kind of overwhelming,” Cable said. “We’ve had over 120 players out there. So many guys are getting in and there are a lot of standouts. Nate is the voice that we listen to but we have some other leaders starting to step up. When we break this down and start from scratch, I’m having everyone step up. We’re going to have our standouts but it’s very much a team. We’re focusing on 'we' and 'us' and not 'me' and 'you.'”
“And I’m very grateful that I’ve inherited a fantastic coaching staff,” Cable added. “They’re sticking around. It’s a great group to work with. A great group of coaches with the right perspective in mind.”
Cable is also aware of the league he’s coming into and knows the talent he can expect to be going against on a weekly basis within the BVAL.
“The BVAL is a very tough league,” he said. “When I did get into the interview process I did my research, I saw the talent all the way around. I looked at the history of the league. I saw that Liberty has only one BVAL title, and that it’s been dominated by Pittsburg, and they have a great team again this year. But we have pieces and everything we need to win. And the way I look at it, Pittsburg has everything to lose.”