New season, new team

Returning to not only a new field but also a stronger, more vibrant atmosphere, Spartan football players gathered last week to begin official practices and to start the season off right. Ranging from electing new leadership and developing new strategies on the field, the Spartans got back on track to a successful season with a variety of new changes for the field.

Beginning last weekend, the Spartans prepared to elect new captains for the year to lead the team to victory. Head Coach Todd Berck elaborated on what qualities he believed the team’s captains needed to be successful.

“I would expect our captains to be some of our top performers. Players usually look up to people who show the dedication and the determination it takes to be a good football player. Usually those kids are successful on the field,” Coach Berck said. “Sometimes [players] will choose vocal leaders; sometimes they’ll choose leaders by action. It’s usually a pretty good mix.”

Along with nominating new leaders, the team has also modified its previous methods for the approaching games, such as the Aug. 30 game against Fort Zumwalt East, and for other games as well. Changes have been made to both the team’s offensive and defensive strategies.

“We’ve put in a new defense this year; we’ve also tweaked our offense a little bit to move the quarterback up to where he’s in a pistol [formation], instead of a shotgun formation,” Coach Berck said.

Organization has also played a key role in how the team plans to operate this year. According to Coach Berck, learning assignments and assigning proper positions has been an important part of their practices this week.

“[We’re] getting the new kids that are involved, transfers, and kids who haven’t been in our program before, comfortable with all the different calls and terminology, and just trying to find the best fit for all the players that’ll help us be the most successful,” Berck said.

Apart from the groundwork being designed for success, excitement among the team is immense. The anticipation for the coming games has reached a high for members of the team, both players and coaches alike. Senior Brody Allen expressed his excitement for a few of this season’s games.

“The team has big expectations for [the Fort Zumwalt East] game, and it’ll set the tone for the rest of the year. There’s already been lots of trash talk on both sides,” Allen said.

Along with the big rivalry match against Francis Howell, it seems students can also expect another exciting game this year against Francis Howell North.

“It’s their Homecoming game, so it’s a big night for them,” Allen said.

With all the preparation and changes taking place, students, teachers, and other fans shouldn’t recognize last year’s team from this year’s. According to Allen, Spartan football fans should expect a much more improved team, as well as a better overall season.

“It’s a new season and a totally different team this year,” Allen said. “Lots of speed on the field, and we’ll win a lot of games this year.”