It’s been a rough go for the Scarborugh Spartans with just one win over the past two seasons, but third-year head coach Gary Howard believes a breakthrough could be on the horizon.
“One of the things that got us last year was that in the later quarters of the game, my guys were just plain gassed,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure those guys can last through the whole game, because we’re playing ironman ball over here.”
Though the Spartans’ numbers are small – with just 15 players on the active roster – there are two players to watch in particular. Scarborough will debut a new backfield tandem, with Herchel Barthelemy at tailback and a new quarterback in Tre’Vuntae Davis.
“(Tre’Vuntae) was with us last year and played a little bit of running back, so he’s familiar with the playbook from the backfield aspect of the game. It’s just a matter of getting his mechanics in order as a quarterback,” Howard said. “I’m not concerned with him knowing the scheme or what we expect of him as much as I’m just looking for him to pull these guys up under him and maneuver the game that way.”
On defense, the Spartans have a newly-formed middle linebacker in returning junior Patrick Johnson and an explosive senior in defensive end Ja’Michael Lee. Johnson is transitioning from the offensive line using a football acumen Howard described as “off the charts.”
“We’ve made some changes on defense, and with the changes we’ve made, he’s been the quickest to make the adjustment and understand the schemes, so we’re confident he’ll be a great coach on the field to those younger guys,” Howard said. “Those guys need someone they can have confidence in, and having that person you can look at for that knowledge gives them more confidence.”
Lee, who came to the Spartans from Louisiana before the 2018 season, will be one of the key drivers for Scarborough’s defense.
“I look at him to be quick off the ball and aggressive off the ball. We were looking to get that out of him last season, but we’ve been able to get him back focused, and he’s ready to go,” Howard said.
The Spartans begin the 2019 season with a road tilt against Milby at 7 p.m. Aug. 30.