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North Penn-Liberty wasn’t able to travel for District 4 playoffs in boys soccer

When North Penn-Liberty’s players look back years from now on the 2020 season, no doubt it will stick out as one of the most unique seasons.

From not knowing literally weeks before the season opener if a season would even be played to having an extremely successful campaign.

But the ending is something that will sting for a while.

North Penn-Liberty qualified for districts for the first time since losing to Bloomsburg in the 2012 District 4 quarterfinals, and while those players wanted a chance to experience the postseason for the first time, it didn’t happen.

The Mounties would have entered the District 4 Class AA playoffs to play at Lewisburg, but due to Union County being considered a “substantial community spread area” with COVID-19, the school district did not permit the team to travel there to play.

That has been a district practice since the season began according to North Penn-Liberty coach Matt Grinnell.

“It means a lot to us (to qualify). With three weeks to practice before our first game, everyone put in the work and it paid off,” Grinnell said. “We just wish we could have played.”

Grinnell noted that it was also a relief for the Mounties’ players to break through and qualify for districts. The Mounties finished the year 7-6. It’s the most wins since going 7-9 in 2018, and the team’s best winning percentage (.538) since 2011 (.611) when the team went 11-7.

For the Mounties, team work was what Grinnell attributes to the success the team had. While the team didn’t get to play in districts this year, that experience and success will likely pay dividends for next season.

“I do think it’s going to boost our confidence and make us more hungry,” Grinnell said.

North Penn-Liberty’s three seniors — Taylor Nelson, River Hicks-Lee and Daniel Lawrence — won’t get the chance to ever experience districts in their careers.

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