Liberty Track Making Frisco History
Liberty Track Making Frisco History
For the first time ever, a Frisco ISD Boys Track & Field team has won a state championship. Girls’ teams won (2A) in 1981, 1984, and (3A) in 2013, and now the boys are on the board! Chris Johnson, a rising Senior at Liberty High School, sits down with Hustle and Pro to talk about the season.
Enjoy this episode and other episodes of Hustle and Pro in our archives.
[00:40] Chris Johnson Football & Track
[01:34] Chris’ schedule
[02:41] What motivates Chris
[06:32] Winning State
Resources within this episode:
- Frisco ISD Sports: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
- Liberty High School: Website | Instagram
- Kelly Walker: Bio | Instagram @kelly_walkertexas | Twitter: @kelly_walker_TX
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco:
Welcome to this episode of Hustle & Pro. I’m your host, Kelly Walker. Today, our guest, Chris Johnson, was part of the team that just recently earned a state championship for Frisco ISD. So, we’re excited to talk to Chris and learn about this, this journey for state championships. So, welcome to the studio, Chris. Thank you. Thanks for having me. Yeah. Thanks for coming in. I know it’s summer, officially. So, I appreciate your time of coming in here and, um, giving us a little bit about your story. So, you, um, just finished your junior year at Liberty High School, right? So, you are going to be a senior. So, um, tell us, um, just kind of in general, like what sports, what sports do you play or what sports have you played growing up versus now?
I mean, growing up, I was, uh, wasn’t a really a big football guy or track guy. I really played basketball. That was really my first love. But until I got into high school, I kind of let that go. So I just stick to football and track right now.
So, okay. So, you do play football. So, I mean, we’re here, we’re here ’cause like you kind of came onto my radar with this track, you know, this big one you guys had, but so you also play football. What are you? What’s your football position?
Uh, DB. I play corner and slot receiver.
All right. I asked this random question, uh, for all my, especially my young athletes. ‘Cause I’m curious: what’s on your playlist when you’re working out?
Oh, well I got a lot of, uh, variety. Uh, you got Lil Baby, uh, YoungBoy, three BZ, Polo G, Moneybagg Yo. You got- it’s a lot. Yeah.
So, all right. We talked about your big, um, huge year that you guys just had for the state title for track. So I’m curious, especially since you’re a dual sport athlete at Liberty, what does your schedule look like?
My schedule is very busy. You know, you got to balance the schoolwork and also family time with, uh, training hours after hours, because it can’t be just like, just go to practices, expect to get better. You got to put in work outside of school and stuff. So it’s very busy. Yeah.
So in the fall are you- you’re football focused, right, but football, especially here is one of those things where they’ve got you- you’re still playing all year. You don’t really get an off season like some of the other school sports where you, you check out after that last game is done, you check out with football, you’re always kind of on, but then you got to immediately turn on track too. Right? So are you doing like morning workouts and afternoon workouts with school and then your own stuff outside that?
Yes, because, uh, right after we won state the week after we had to come back to spring football, so we didn’t get no break off.
You didn’t get any time to relax. So then what are the kinds of things that motivate you? So when you are at this high level that you guys just achieved with track, so what is it that motivates you to push yourself on that off time? Like you said, you can’t just show up to practice and get better. You gotta do your own things, right? How do you stay focused or what, what, what are the things that make you keep going?
Uh, stuff that make me keep going. It’s just like seeing other guys and uh, looking up to them like professional athletes and seeing that they can’t just do one thing and be satisfied with it. They got to do multiple stuff and putting in work. So looking at the older guys and looking at them and see what they do to achieve their goals, that just make me want to motivate me and make me want to do what they do.
Yeah. And now you’re now you’re the older guy, right? So now you’re going to be the one that they’re looking up to, um, who are some of the athletes that you look up to? Some of the names that we would know, like professional guys that you’ve grown up watching?
Jalen Ramsey and DeSean Jackson and Usain Bolt.
Oh yeah. That’s a good mix. Football track mix. Usain Bolt, man. So is he, is he the, I feel like he’s old and retired or is he still running and beating people?
I think he done. Cause I seen a commercial. It looked like he was putting on-
Okay. Right. Like I’m like, he’s so good for so long. Like surely he’s done, but sometimes you never know, especially if like you’ve, fine-tuned, you know, your body and like you can keep going longer. So I wasn’t sure, but yeah, he’s, he’s one of those fun ones to watch. So we have this summer is, um, Olympics. So are you a guy that watches like track and field in the Olympics? Summer Olympics?
I watch more college running than I do Olympics. Yeah. Cause I like college people. Cause its like, they wanted more than the Olympians. I feel like. Cause they trying to get to the Olympics. So I like watching college more than professionals
Because they have a little bit, they still have some ways to go in their journey and they still have big goals. They want to reach. So do you even, I don’t even, I’m kind of out of the Olympics, like track and field, like I’m big names right now, like who were watching for, do you know any of those people coming?
I know one guy, uh, Noah Lyles. He run for USA, Team USA. He pretty fast.
Is team USA like good at track and field. Are we competitive?
They should be. I think the next Olympics, they should be good because getting more college athletes so they should be better.
I don’t know. I haven’t kept up. I mean, I know I I’m getting excited about Olympics because I watch all the gymnastics stuff and I’m Simone Biles fan and I’m just like excited. I wanna soak in all the, all the gymnastics that I can. So one thing when I reached out to you, Chris, um, actually I reached out to your coach, Coach Gregory. Is that what y’all call him? Okay. And I said, you know, I want to talk to somebody that just went on this track team, uh, who should I talk to? So he’s he sent me you and um, I read that he had, when you guys won, you had so much adrenaline and excitement and he was even brought to tears to see your group. When, so tell me about him. Like how long has he been coaching you and what do you, what do you like about his style?
Well, this is my, uh, his first year coach me, uh, came from Lewisville, Hebron. Okay. This is my first year at Liberty. But when I tell you, he got, he got a lot of energy. He come to practice. And uh, before our track meet, he asks us if we ready. And normally we just like, yeah, we sure, we chilling. And then he’ll like, come well y’all don’t look like y’all ready. This and that in deep voice and stuff like he grabbing at y’all. But it’s like, he come with all that energy and uh, we just try to reflect it and like make him happy.
Yeah. That’s good. I mean, I’m, I’m guessing that you got a lot of early mornings with, with track. Do you do morning practices with him?
Uh that’s that’s um, people who is in a period. So we’d go after school and work with him.
I’m just picturing him, like trying to wake you guys up with, with that energy in that voice. Um, so will he be your coach again the next year? So you’ll have, you’ll be back with him. And you said you came from Hebron? Yeah. So the track team you’ll have to help me on how this all works, because I don’t know tons about how like you, when you win a state title and track, it’s not an individual win, right. It’s points accumulated from the whole team from one meet or several meets. How did, how does it work?
It’s running events to get the most, uh, relays, get the most points and stuff. So like, you can still win your own individual state medals, but like we want it to win it as a whole team. And that’s what we did. We wanted as a whole team. Cause we had the most points
So the relays help get the most points. And so I read that you guys got second in the 4 by 200 relay, but then the big one was the 4 by 400. Is that right? And so that was that’s what matters? That was you and Cameron Wooley, Bryson Wyatt, and Evan Stewart. Is that right? All right. And so they will have this, right. Or you, you can tell us your time. I don’t want to say it wrong.
Uh, I think the 4 by 2, we ran a 1:25 and then the 4 by 4, we ran a 3:15. Yeah.
And I read that that was the fifth fastest time in the nation. Did you know that? I didn’t even know that myself. Yeah, It was. That sounds incredibly fast. Um, yeah, cause that’s a mile in 3:15. Yeah. I know it’s four of you splitting it, but still that is fast. So then how do you set goals for next year? Like, are you going to have that same group come back or did some of them graduate or move out?
Bryson left us. He graduated and we all know, we’re not sure about Evan yet. Cause he might graduate early to go play college ball, the next level. So we’ll see.
Well, you will be replacing at least Bryson. You said. Yeah. So, um, did you know that this was the first state title Frisco ISD for boys track? No, I did not know that. First time that it’s been done in town. I know. So it’s been done on the girl’s side. Um, and I thought this was interesting Frisco High School won for girls, but they were 2A back in ’81, ’84. Now we’re 5A. Um, and then also Lonestar won. Um, but it’s been since 2013 and that was 3A. And that was girls. Yeah. So the girls have one a few times, but yep. You guys are the first ever boys track team to win a state title.
What’s crazy is uh, before I got to Liberty, I already knew Evan and Cam because we like went to the same middle school, but I had moved. So it was crazy. It was like, I was like on a phone call with uh, Evan and Cam and we was, we would talk and be like, bro, you gotta come back. You gotta come back. And I’m like, I see. And then he was like, if you come back, we win in state next year. And then I was like, you sure about that? And I was like, I don’t want to come in there, hopes is up. And so I came in and I guess it all happened. Yeah.
They knew they recruited you back over. So that was one thing I was curious about with track being a spring sport. I mean, whenever that phone call happened, I don’t know if it was before or after everything happened last year and you probably didn’t get to have the right season. And you wanted your sophomore year. Is that right? Um, did you get to run last year?
Uh, yeah, I got to run like three, maybe four meets and then they canceled everything.
Were you able to keep training at a higher enough level to keep yourself ready? Or did you take a little bit of break and then had to get back into it?
It was a, it was a little bit of break because it was locked down, but I was like, getting like gallon water jugs and do like curls and stuff. I had a pull up bar and stuff. I maybe couldn’t do the running part, but like at least I could like keep my like upper and lower body strong like wall sits and this and that.
There’s a big deal for young athletes was how do you go from having these facilities and coaches that you, you know, you report to every day and for you a couple of times a day where you are having different sports that you’re working on, how do you go from that to being locked down and you know, told to stay in your house and you don’t have any of the resources and the people pushing you. Um, did you find that was hard for you?
Extremely. I mean, at first when we all, like, we all was like, oh, every the kids is not going back to school. I’m sure the kids like, oh yeah, until they got deeper into the summer, we couldn’t do nothing. We was just like, man, this is boring. So it was extremely hard because nothing was open. You had to find a way yourself. That’s another motivation when adversity, you gotta fight through it and do what’s best for you.
Yeah. I think that was the thing that we all realized. Like we’re on our own last year. It felt like, I mean, I know we, we were in our homes with our families, I guess. Right. But like there was this different sense of being on your own and figuring out how you by yourself was going to like move forward. And if you were, you know, cause you had to choose if you want to keep working out and keep your mind in the game or if you didn’t and a lot of people probably gave up and use that as an excuse to stop doing those things that they loved and they could get better at. So then what does that look like for you going forward? You’re going into your senior year, back at Liberty. Um, what kind of goals do you have you planned football again and track. And what are your goals for your senior year? What do you want to accomplish? You’ve you’ve had to set a high bar for track, but-
Yeah. Overall, I just want to, uh, add onto that. Repeat a state title, not just in a track, but also a football, because we have the team, we have the coaching staff, we have great players and a great facility, weight room. So I think that us just being ready to come work in the fall is what lead us to that in the right step, into winning state. Our overall goal.
For both teams. Yes. Ma’am that’s a big goal. That’s a lot. Yeah. How was football this year? Were you all-
It was good. We did better than last year. We, uh, lost the first round of playoffs.
Okay. Yeah. So you never know you can come back the right team and the right, the right timing you guys can get in there and compete. So yeah, those are big goals. Do you even get a break though? I know we’re in the first week of summer, when we sit here and record this and you just had this big high with track, do you take a breath and like let your body relax. Are you back at it with strength and conditioning and working out already with football?
I’m gonna say this is our only week break because next week we started up strength and conditioning. I still have 7 on 7. I play 7 on 7. I’m running summer track with Brendan, the nation in them. So it’s really not a break for me
No break. Your body needs a break. I bet though. Hopefully you can have some relaxation time over the summer and get a little bit of, um, break. So then do you, what do you plan on doing after high school? Are you wanting to keep running or playing football or doing any of those sports?
Wherever God takes me. You know, uh, if it’s not in his will for me to play college sports, then I’ll find something else to do and make, uh, make a living off that.
What are some of the things you are interested in? If it’s not sports, what are, what are some of the things you look to do? Like for career work?
I want to start a business and uh, helping out people like houses and stuff like real estate. Yeah.
Yeah. That sounds great. And this is a good area to do that. I mean, would you, well, I don’t know. I just assume this area, but most kids probably wouldn’t get out of here. Do you want to get out of here? Do you like this area?
It’s a nice area. You just gotta have money. Yeah. You gotta have money. But uh, I plan on like moving when I’m old, much older, I want to move to Florida or Cali. And I know those are very expensive places, so I gotta be set. Yeah.
Yeah. It’s kind of crazy how that works out with some of the best places to live and the best weather. And then those are the most expensive places to live, but you know, there’s a, there’s a way to make it all work different, different pockets in different areas of those places. And they all need different people and business owners and business starters and ideas and products and services. So you can make it work wherever you want to be. Yeah. Well thank you for coming in here today. Um, and giving me your time here in summer, congrats on the track title. Um, you get an, a, you getting a championship ring?
Of course. I was deciding if I should get a pinky ring or just my regular ring finger.
Yeah. Yeah. What are you going to do? Don’t know yet.
Yeah. I’m leaning to the pinky ring just because I’ve been talking about it this while year.
What, so what are state championship? Do you even get to pick anything about it or just, do you just tell them the size? You get to customize it. You do. Wow. What are like, what are you, what are the options? Or we don’t know yet. It’s too new, too fresh. You haven’t gotten to see that yet. I think back in the day when I was doing that stuff, I never won a state title by the way. Um, but my husband did and we’ve definitely seen that state ring come out a few times. I mean, he’s like a 43 year old man and he still knows where it is and brings it out when we are questioning him or whatever. And he still lives to tell the stories of his state championship. And he was like, you, he won when he was a junior. Yeah, I think he was a junior. So we’ll congrats. That’s very exciting. Good job. Hard work pays off. So wish you the best for your senior year at Liberty High School. And we’ll, we’ll check back in with you next year and see how everything went. And when you have your repeat state championship, you can come back in here and tell us about it. We’ve got to. Thank you for having me. Thank you, Chris. And thank you for listening to this episode of Hustle & Pro. Make sure you subscribe and we’ll see you next week.