Consistent attendance at summer workouts. Hard work in the weight room. The will to win.
Now it’s all there, second-year coach Todd Powers said, and the Spartans are trying to put it all together and get off the schneid that’s seen them go winless in consecutive seasons.
“When you’re talking about discipline, you don’t let excuses get in the way of what you’re trying to accomplish,” Powers said. “If we’re known for a disciplined program, we’ll get better as a football school. As far as the program is concerned, I’m pretty excited because I know what the kids have done.
“Unfortunately, we were senior-heavy last year. We had 18 seniors out of the 32 that played and we lost a lot of experience.”
It’s unclear, even as the season approaches, who many of the key position players for the Spartans will be, but according to senior fullback and defensive lineman Bobby Johnson, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“Our young guys are really working hard at it,” he said. “They like to listen a lot. We lost a lot of older people. [In] my class we don’t have a lot of people who play football, but [in] all the other classes we did, so it’s going to be really exciting for some of these young kids playing.”
Johnson wasn’t kidding. There are only three seniors on the squad.
Throw in a daunting move to Class AAAAA, up two classes from last season, and North Springs has more than its usual share of challenges to surmount.
North Springs ran the spread in 2010 and the Power-I in 2011. This year, the Spartans are changing it up again with a “hybrid wing” set that will incorporate shotgun and wing formations, likely behind quarterback Xavier Landers.
Powers didn’t know who exactly his offensive and defensive lines would consist of, but he did know they would be young.
The Spartans will employ a 50 as their base defense but will adjust to other schemes when the situation calls for it.
North Springs won’t face any playoff teams from a year ago in its region slate, but the Spartans have a long way to come from last year’s winless trip through Region 5-AAA, where they were shut out in four of six games.
“I believe, if you build it, they’ll come,” Powers said. “It takes time. You cannot change a program in a year.”
Aug. 31 McIntosh
Sept. 7 at Hapeville Charter
Sept. 14 Riverwood
Sept. 28 at Kell
Oct. 5 Forsyth Central*
Oct. 12 at Sequoyah*
Oct. 19 Northview*
Oct. 26 at Cambridge*
Nov. 2 Creekview*
Nov. 9 region play-in game
*denotes region game