Stepping Up to the Challenge


ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler

After graduating a large senior class, the Spartans know they are going to need help from a variety of first-time starters. “I know we’re young, but a lot of kids have opportunities to play,” began head coach Jon Faimalo.

Perhaps the most noticeable group will be the offensive line, which is void of a returner. “We’re putting together a new [offensive] line,” said Faimalo. “We’re young on the line, but they’re hard workers.”

That does not mean that there isn’t excitement around the players coming in, including on O-line. Emery will feature a big center that weighs over 300 pounds and moves well for his size. In addition, the athletic Wade Stilson will also man the huddle for the first year.

The skill positions, on the other hand, come in with experience, including Treg Miller, Dane Sitterud and Creek Sharpe, to name a few. Sitterud and newcomer Ridic Potter provide a solid one-two punch in the backfield. Sitterud is a bigger body that likes to run north and south, while Potter is a more elusive back with the ball in his hands. Faimalo added, “If we can get the ball to [any of our skill] guys in space, they’ll make something happen.”

The Spartans will also bring back their sacks leader from a year ago, Kelby Jones. Jones will be aided by Sitterud on the D-line along with other up and comers. On the back end, Sharpe is a returning corner while Miller will be back at safety.

In the region, Summit Academy will be tough once more, while American Leadership Academy and South Summit could also provide some firepower. “[Our goal is to] be in the hunt for a region championship,” Faimalo continued. “I don’t see any reason why we can’t compete and put ourselves in a good position come playoff time. A home playoff game is another goal.”

“I look forward to the season.” Faimalo concluded, “I think a lot of kids will have opportunities to step up and fill the shoes of that big senior class.”

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