The Spartan’s football team hit the field this summer with their heads held high and an attitude that is bound and determined to outhustle, outrun and outplay any competitor that dares challenge their talented 2015 squad.
Head coach Joel Jund said this year the team is young but also immensely talented.
He is excited about his team’s potential, but he also suspects that their varsity inexperience could be the Achilles heel in the Spartans’ game this season.
“Right now we are focusing on making improvements every week,” said Jund. “Our skill is going to give us the edge we need, but our season’s performance will depend on how quickly our team can gel.”
This year’s Spring Creek football team encompasses two sophomores, 13 seniors and a large domination of junior.
Jund said none of his this-year junior teammates made the varsity team last year, but that doesn’t mean their past as a team doesn’t have an impressive resume. The 2017 football squad has merely lost a single football game in the past two years from playing together on the field.
“The team enthusiasm is high, but we have got to overtake some team cohesive issues to get where we want to go,” he said. “Our goal is to mature quickly, so we can move forward onto any fundamental issues (that remain) on the field.”
The Spartans are returning four senior veterans from their 2014 season: Jake Davis, Daniel Lopez, Chris Webb and Logan Lewis.
Davis is Spring Creek’s returning running back and safety. Offensively, Davis totaled 86 rushing yards with 18 carries and 4.8 average yards per carry last season. Defensively, Davis totaled for 44 solo tackles and played in all eight games.
Lopez is a two-year lettering athlete, which will bring experience to the offensive and defensive line. Last year, he played all eight games with 38 solo tackles — 4.8 tackles per game — has two fumble recoveries and one sack. His best numbers game was in the Spartans’ loss to Dayton with 10 solo tackles from the defensive line.
Webb also performed for the Spartans last year on defense and on offense. He totaled 35 defensive tackles — with his best game against Fernley with 11 solo tackles — and caused and recovered one fumble.
Offensively, Webb totaled six rushing yards and 10 receiving yards, totaling 16 yards on the season.
Lewis played five games last season and brought in nine tackles during his time, averaging 1.8 tackles per game, bringing more offensive and defensive experience to the Spartans’ play.
“They all are great leaders,” said Jund about his seniors. “They work hard and the coaching staff expects a lot out of them this year. They will push the younger, and fresher players with their abundance of talent. To win this season we will need to continue to rely on our senior leadership to give us that extra push.”
Jund mentioned multiple names of athletes in the junior class that can make or break their record this season. Among those names were quarterback Jon Jund, receiver Jason Painter, wide receiver Matt Shanks and running back Mitch Owsley.
While coach Jund is overwhelmed with excitement about the potential coming out of the younger class, he maintains the season will be a team effort.
“We won’t have one player or a couple of players who are more dominant than the rest,” he said. “In any game, any group of players (will) have the possibility to inflict major damage upon our opponents.”
As the season comes closer, Joel Jund continues to focus on improving every practice.
“We will (continually progress) every time we hit the field on mastering our fundamentals,” he said. “Improvement every practice and team cohesiveness will be the key. The more quickly we gel, the better we will be come season and playoff time.”
Last year the Spartans finished the season with a 3-6 record — unable to qualify for the playoffs — ending in a close loss to rival Elko, 23-22.
The Spartans will head out to face Sparks at 7 p.m. today at South Tahoe.