Lake Washington High senior Evan Liggett remembers beginning his football career on the Junior Kangs rookie level as a fourth-grader and attending varsity games during his younger years.
Those experiences set the stage for his own Kang varsity career.
“I was just always so impressed how fast they played and how athletic everyone was, the level they played on. So to be up here, it’s insane to me. It’s kind of just been a goal to be able to come up on the varsity level, (to) play and make a difference,” said Liggett, who helped lead the Kangs to a state berth last season.
In recent weeks, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound wide receiver/cornerback lit up the scoreboard with five touchdowns. In a 26-10 victory over Liberty, he returned an interception for a score and caught a touchdown pass from Jakson Voelker. In a loss to Bellevue, Liggett snagged a pair of scoring passes from Voelker and one from Dominic Koester.
In the Kangs’ 31-28 double-overtime win over Mercer Island on Oct. 18, Liggett scored on an 18-yard halfback pass from James Gardner in the first OT. After stopping the Islanders in the second OT, Liam Sweeney won the game on a 36-yard field goal.
Josiah Dillard had seven carries for 101 yards and three touchdowns. including a 76-yarder, and Gardner had 26 carries for 214 yards. The Kang offense racked up 540 total yards, including 448 yards rushing from scrimmage.
Liggett commended head coach Andy Arena for calling some stellar plays on offense, and he considers himself lucky to have the ball come his way.
“Our whole offense is doing really well: James Gardner at running back, he’s opening up the pass with his great runs, and the offensive line having great protection,” said Liggett, who praised the defense for its play against Liberty.
During his time on varsity, Liggett said he’s learned from Arena how to deal with adversity and come together as a team when its seasons have started out rough.
He feels the key to rebounding is, “Believing in yourself and your team, just how much that matters to winning games.”
The Reporter asked Liggett a series of questions to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his life:
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I usually go off a quote my dad always says, it’s just “hard work beats talent, when talent fails, you got to work hard.” That’s just always been in my brain since I started playing football. It doesn’t matter if we’re outsized, outmatched athletic-wise, if we go out there and give it all we got, I always have confidence in our team.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the area?
Downtown Kirkland, I love Acropolis. The grinders and the pizza are amazing.
What’s your dream vacation spot?
I’ve always actually wanted to go to Tokyo. Just a different culture and I’ve just wanted to venture out and see what it’s like over there.
If you could go to dinner with one person, who would that be?
I play basketball as well, and my favorite player, who people aren’t a big fan of is Kevin Durant. I’ve always looked up to him and his work ethic.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
Rap music, it just gets me hyped before the games and gets me ready to go. I listen to country music as well.
What super power would you like to have?
The ability to fly, just ‘cause it would be cool, you could go anywhere you want.