The Spartans return 28 seniors.
“We’ve got a good number of kids returning on the defensive side of the ball,” Glanton said. “We’ve got depth at the offensive line. I feel good about the line. We’ve got good skill kids back.
“If we can stay healthy, I think we have a chance to finish in the top two or three in the region.”
Glanton, the only head coach in the school’s seven years of existence, led the team to a 6-4 record and first place finish in the south sub-region of its former region, 5-AAAA, in 2011. The team lost a play-in game for a spot in the state playoffs to north sub-region co-champion Kell.
This season, as part of the split of football-playing schools into six classifications, the Spartans move up a classification to compete in a new region, 5-AAAAA, against familiar foes like East Paulding and Villa Rica and such new opponents as Rome, Allatoona and Woodland-Bartow.
The defense was its strength last year, and Glanton said he is counting on players like senior linebackers Josh Anderson, Jonathan Pritchett and John Pettway; senior defensive end Carnell Hopson; and junior safeties Khlia Hackett and Jae Bowen to provide leadership.
Senior quarterback Luke Norman will lead the offense, with help from Anderson at fullback and Hackett at wide receiver.
Glanton singled out junior Chandler Burks as a player to watch this year. Burks will line up at a number of positions, including quarterback and wide receiver on offense, and cornerback on defense.
“He [also] returns kicks for us. He does it all,” Glanton said.