Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring football capsule: Spoto

The Spartans, who made the playoffs for the first time last year, are going to utilize JB Burgess’ mobility at QB.


The Spartans, who made the playoffs for the first time last year, are going to utilize JB Burgess’ mobility at QB.

Around the county in 30 days

A daily spring preview of every football program in the county


Coach: Dale Caparaso (second season, 4-7; fifth overall, 24-28)

Last season: 4-7 (lost 24-6 to Arcadia DeSoto County in Class 3A region quarterfinals)

District: Class 3A-8 (Blake, Dixie Hollins, Jefferson, Lakewood, Osceola)

Key losses: DL Sergio Robinson, WR/DB Alex Byers, ILB Darrell Hernandez

Who's back: LB Rodney Williams, DE Kevick McCray, QB JB Burgess, RB Tim Randolph, RB Jamar Burns, WR Tyrone Baker, LB Danny Taylor, DE John Akins

What's new: Last year, the Spartans' goal was to make the playoffs for the first time. Despite being forced to forfeit three early-season wins, Spoto reached that goal. "Now we want to win a game in the playoffs," Caparaso said. It won't be smoke and mirrors, but Spoto has organized its playbooks to utilize its speed to offset what it lacks in size. On offense, that means moving the pocket to allow Burgess to make plays on the run with his feet and arm (the Spartans threw the ball about 10 times a game last year). He has the skill position players around him and Baker has stepped in to assume Byers' role as the No. 1 receiver. On defense, look for the Spartans to diversify their looks, with a variety of multiple-man fronts and blitz packages. That also means placing LB Williams, a bona fide D-I prospect, on the edge (Williams had four sacks in Spoto's spring game). Though he's only 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, McCray has done well replacing Robinson at defensive tackle, and Akins and Taylor stood out in the spring.

Audible: "We can't just go out there and tell them to come at us. We're going to have to put our players in situations where they can do what they do best. We can't play big, strong football with our speed guys. We went into the spring with some big losses and I think we did a good job of filling them." — Caparaso

Did you know? Despite being without six starters in the spring game due to academic or other disciplinary reasons, the Spartans held Lennard to 17 yards of total offense.

Spring game: Defeated Lennard 20-0

2009 schedule

Sept. 4 at Wharton

Sept. 11 at Alonso

Sept. 17 vs. East Bay

Sept. 25 at Blake

Oct. 2 vs. Riverview

Oct. 9 vs. Dixie Hollins

Oct. 16 vs. Plant

Oct. 22 at Jefferson

Oct. 30 at Osceola

Nov. 6 vs. Lakewood

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Spring football capsule: Spoto 06/01/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31


    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win


    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State


    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.