By Tamas Mondovics
With last year’s strong 7-3 winning season behind them, the Spoto High School football program, led by Head Coach Dale Caparaso, has every reason to expect nothing less ahead of the 2015-2016 district line up.
The Spartans’ 27-21 mistakes-filled, non-conference preseason Kickoff Classic loss against Newsome, however, was a timely reminder that the season has arrived and to win means no room for error.
“We play perfect football at Spoto,” Caparaso urged his players following a mid-game error, adding, “Welcome to Spoto.”
Shaking up the Wolves defense, with a pass down the field, Spartans’ junior quarterback A.J. Dicks managed to give his team an early lead.
Newsome, however, backed by a sizable crowd of teachers, parents and fans at the Wolves stadium, answered back with a field goal to end the first quarter.
A small taste of what is to come this year became obvious when Wolves senior running back Drew Kozlin extended Newsome’s lead to 12-7 with a 25-yard touchdown with three minutes left in the first half.
In the third, Spoto took over at the Newsome 21-yard line, but thanks to the Wolves defense, Spoto was unable to capitalize on the field position and turned the ball over on downs at the 16.
Adding to the reality was Newsome junior running back Nate, who managed to run for 90 yards coupled with a two-point conversion and a touchdown.
While clearly disappointed with his teams overall performance, Caparaso was also optimistic of the new season.
“It’s only the beginning,” he said. “We have a great chance to go far this year if we play it right.”
The Spartans roster boasts of some of the best players in the county including, Terence Williams, Demarco Archie and Kevius Atkins, just to name a few.
While Spoto and Newsome were measuring up their strengths, neighboring teams did the same.
East Bay defeated Hillsborough 15-12 in a one-half jamboree, Brandon beat Durant 17-12 and Riverview suffered a 19-7 loss to Plant City.
For more information about the 2015-2016 fall football season, visit www.maxpreps.com.