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.
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.