Wide receiver Joe Kassanavoid, who returned to the Salina Liberty in March, announced his retirement from football Tuesday evening.
Kassanavoid made the announcement on social media. “(I’m) walking away healthy,” he said.
Kassanavoid was re-signed by the Liberty on March 16th, just days before their third game of the season and was immediately installed into the Salina offense. He played in three games for the Liberty in 2017, catching 16 passes for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns.
He was an offensive leader for the Liberty during their inaugural 2016 campaign, finishing the season second on the team in receiving with 40 receptions for 445 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also played the quarterback position in 2016, completing 29 of his 56 pass attempts for 402 yard with 5 touchdown passes and 5 interceptions. He also ran the ball 34 times for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Prior to playing in Salina, Kassanavoid, who played collegiately at Kansas State University, was a fixture in Wichita indoor football, spending time with both the Wichita Wild and the Wichita Force. He helped the Wild win two consecutive CPIFL league championships in 2013 and 2014, and played in an instrumental role in the Force’s run to the CIF playoffs in their inaugural season
He played in just 6 games for the Force in 2015, catching 13 passes for 87 yards for 1 touchdown. He also completed 24 of 52 passes for 398 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He also had 34 rushing attempts for 129 yards and 4 touchdown.
In four seasons with the Wild (2011-2014), Kassanavoid proved to be a versatile talent on both sides of the ball. He spent time at wide receiver, quarterback, and even linebacker. After racking up 67 total tackles, good for third on the team, Kassanavoid transitioned to wide receiver and backup quarterback for the 2013 season.
The position switch was a success in 2013, as he totaled 53 catches for 655 yards and 20 touchdowns. In 2014, Kassanavoid caught 38 passes for 343 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Liberty (0-6) continue their 2017 season this Saturday in Albuquerque when they do battle with the Duke City Gladiators (3-3) at Tingley Coliseum. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m.