Sun Valley: The Spartans (8-4 & 3-2) future continues to shine bright with junior QB Sam Howell. Howell 2016 UCHSF O-POY has 15 division 1 offers after throwing for 3217 yards 38 TDs as a sophomore. Howell ran for ran for 12 scores as well in 2016. The Spartans leading rusher, Ishod Finger (1110 yards/10 TDs) transferred to Metrolina Christian. That lleaves Howell as the Spartans returning leading rusher with 444 yards. Fabrice Funderburke ran for 342 yards and 1 TD in 8 games last season. The Spartan receivers will be without Jeremiah Miller (Coastal Carolina) and his 1288 yds/18 TDs. Senior Kendall Anderson is the leading receiver that returns (45 rec/688 yds/5 TDs) along with App State commit Luke Burnette (23 rec/312 yds/3 TDs). Anthony Marple returns after missing 9 games with a knee injury in 2016. WR Christian Mcintosh transfered in from Cuthbertson after posting 19 catches and 171 yards last season for the Cavaliers. Anderson, Marple and now Mcintosh will give Howell plenty to choose from in the Spartan passing attack.
The Spartans defense returns it’s 3 of their top 6 tacklers from 2016 led by Don McLendon (102), Elijah Last (90) and Ray Artolozaga (84). McLendon led the Spartans in sacks with 11, Artolozaga had 7 and Luke Burnette had 7 as well. They do however lose CJ Maddox in the defensive backfield who led with 5 interceptions in 2016. Eddy Gomez returns for the kicking duties after playing in 8 games last year and hit 3 field goals and was 27/28 on PATs. The Spartans open the 2017 season hosting Forest Hills on August 18th.