Liberty’s Rushton reaches 1,000 points

Tribune Chronicle / John Vargo Liberty’s Dra Rushton, left, tries to break the trap of Champion’s Chase Wheelock, center, and Jared Day, right. Rushton reached the 1,000-point mark in his career with the Leopards.

After winning the Trumbull County Player of the Year as quarterback for the Liberty Leopards, Dra Rushton turned his attention to basketball season.

Rushton needed just around 200 points to reach the 1,000-point milestone and did just that back on Feb. 15 against Campbell. With 5:35 left in the second quarter, Rushton hit a shot to get over the mark. He scored 24 points in the 52-50 win.

“He has been extremely important to us. He has been the glue that holds us all together,” Liberty coach Chris Kohl said. “He’s the leader that we definitely needed this year and he stepped up big time for us. Just as he is on the football field, he is on the court. He was counted on every night.”

After leading his team to the OHSAA state playoffs in football, Rushton’s basketball team was not as good but he led it despite that.

“He’s a quarterback on the floor at all times,” Kohl said. “He always checks to make sure we were in the right offense and checked with coach Russell to make sure our defense was correct. He filled that role on the floor each and every night.”

Liberty finished the year at 7-17 but were a team that could challenge most teams that it faced throughout the year.

“If we didn’t have him, I’m not sure where we would be,” Kohl said. “He was very easy to coach and always took suggestions on the floor. He was also able to help us and the team tremendously. I also had him in class and he was just a joy to teach and coach for four years.”

After high school, Rushton will be playing football at Youngstown State University in a running back/wide receiver role.

“I think that’s just the icing on the cake for him,” Kohl said. “He’s always been fearless and goes as hard as he possibly can each game. That will do him wonders at the next level. He also dreams of getting to another level after college. I know he’s the type of kid that can do just about anything.”

Now that the season is over and Rushton has quite the 2017-2018 calendar year, he can now focus on his schooling and college career.

“I am a YSU guy so I can say I’m very happy that he’s staying home,” Kohl said. “He bulked up quite a bit from junior to senior year so I know he’ll be just fine at the college level.”