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Liberty security L:J Hunter finds assist on soccer group after tragedy

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  • liberty soccer helps save senior security LJ Hunter after household tragedy

Each Friday night time this highschool soccer season, every time Peoria Liberty senior security LJ Hunter made an enormous play, Lora Critser would lookup on the sky for the shiniest star and imagine that was LJ’s mom watching him.

“I do know she’s wanting down on him, as a result of she would not have missed any of this,” stated Lora Critser, who’s LJ’s grandmother and Angela’s mother.

Hunter has had the love of his household, teammates, the Liberty group and soccer to get him by most of his highschool profession since shedding his mom on June 7, 2020, when he was preparing for his sophomore season at Liberty.

Angela Critser was killed in a drive-by capturing in Phoenix. She was 38. Angela was together with her husband di lei at a gasoline station on that afternoon, when, in accordance with Angela’s mother, there was an interplay between Angela’s husband and one other individual. That led them to them being shot at of their car, Lora stated.

Angela was struck by a bullet and died. The suspect was arrested and charged with first-degree homicide. A trial is pending.

LJ was at a good friend’s home when his mother was shot.

“It did not really feel actual,” he stated.

It has been an exhausting two years.

Liberty junior LJ Hunter smiles after their victory over Basha at Basha High School in Chandler, Ariz.  on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021.

Thursday will mark the third Thanksgiving that LJ has spent with out his mother. He’ll be surrounded by love and household. He’ll spend it at his grandmother’s. And he’ll most likely wind up at teammate Anthony Ruiz’s dwelling sooner or later. Ruiz leads the top-ranked Lions’ protection with 13 sacks.

They’ve grown up on soccer collectively, taking part in on the identical youth group, the Bandits, since they have been 5.

Since LJ misplaced his mother, soccer has been his salvation.

“Soccer was an enormous assist,” he stated. “It was a bit little bit of a battle to start with. However my teammates got here to me and bought me by all of it. That positively helps me lots. Takes my thoughts off of issues.”

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