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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.

Times

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

Spoto

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]
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