Highlight Zone Countdown: Sparta Spartans

Program numbers are at their highest in John Blaha’s three-year run as Sparta’s head coach.

“Last year we had four seniors that played for four years. We are up to ten (this year). Program numbers have gone from when we started in the 50’s to where we’re in the low 80’s this year.”

Those numbers are definitely trending in the right direction for a program that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2005.

Last season Sparta won their first game since 2011. It was also their first conference win since 2007.

Blaha believes a powerful offensive line in 2014 could pave the way for the program to take another big step.

“There’s a lot of competition. We really think our strength will be our offensive line. Even though it’s mainly young, mostly juniors with a sprinkling of a senior or two, that’s one of our groups that we think will have the biggest improvement for us.”

“It’s a pressure we are willing to accept and a responsibility we are willing to take,” said junior offensive lineman Damian Dauphin. “We’re ready and we’re very willing to help carry this team to the success that it has the potential to achieve.”