Young Spartans busy introducing new systems
East Ascension head coach John Lambert knows the Spartans will be an overall young team this season but it is the experience on the defensive side of the ball that will be relied upon.
“There is no doubt,” Lambert said. “We return so many of those guys and the good thing about it is we return just as many guys the year after. That is how young we are. They are mostly sophomores and juniors and it will be like that on offense as well.”
Lambert enters his third season at the helm of the Spartans’ football program that returns less than 10 seniors but do welcome back just as many starters to a team that finished 2-7.
“You hate to lose a group of kids that were as good a leaders as the ones we had last year,” Lambert. “I think we would have had a great season if we weren’t forced to take a 10-day break for the hurricane. That hurt us. Our kids need consistency and routine. That is when they function the best.”
East Ascension will move All-District defensive lineman Q’Dareus Lomas and Wade Julien to inside linebacker this season to sew up holes thus leaving inexperience on the front.
“We have kids that are going to have to step up and play for us,” Lambert said. “When you put a sophomore on the field, a lot of things can happen but we wouldn’t put them out there if we didn’t think they could perform.”
The Spartans are moving to a veer offense this season returning two quarterbacks with experience in Emerson Foster and Chase Rivett. Running back Avery Williams and fullback Justin Pelle also return.
“For us to continue to try and spread teams out, we changed to a veer offense,” Lambert said. “We have just ended up playing teams on occasion that have bigger, faster and stronger kids than ours. Our weight room is fixing the stronger part but height is height and we don’t have a whole lot of that so you have to take advantage of whatever you do have and what we do have is kids that work hard in the weight room and bring that out onto the football field.”
East Ascension began spring practice April 26 but was limited with coaches still in baseball as well as players. This week, the Spartans featured a full crew.
An intrasquad scrimmage is scheduled for May 16 at 9 a.m. at Spartan Stadium to conclude spring practice.
“We had some pack it in right after weightlifting but that happens every year,” Lambert said. “For the most part we have 85 great kids who work their tails off out here.”