SLIDELL, La. – The Salmen Spartans finished the 2019 regular season with a 3-7 record, a mark still good enough to earn them a spot in the Class 4A Playoffs.
“We had a pretty tough schedule and they allowed us to get in the playoffs. You know, we won 3 ball games last year and you know I always say this,5 plays in a ball game that determine the outcome and you’ve got to win 3 of them and to be honest with you we were probably 3 plays away from winning maybe 2 or 3 more ball games,” says Salmen Head Football Coach Eric Chuter.
The Spartans lost to Carencro in the opening round, losing 15 seniors and 10 starters in the process. The good news is they return a handful of experienced youth in 2020.
Chuter says, “I think our offensive line is much improved, I think our skill group is much improved also. We have 2 quarterbacks who I’m very pleased with right now. One is going to be a junior who got a ton of time last year. The other kid is a sophomore, so I think the future is very bright for us.”
Bright thanks to experience on the Offensive line behind senior lineman Marcus Brito.
Brito believes that last year the offensive line was good but this year they could be dangerous.
Brito adds, “We have a really good front 5 and I feel like we are going to be able to run the ball this year and have good pass protection. I feel like we are going to be dangerous up front.”
Protection that will get the ball in the hands of the Spartans’ play-makers.
A very talented group, playing with a purpose to prove they are lightyears better than a 3-win ball club.
“It’s making me mad enough to where I want to go undefeated to show them how god we really are like we had a bad season but we can come back from it,” says Senior Running Back Karl Owens.
A similar mentality that carries over to the defense.
A unit led by senior linebacker Karl Simmons, a guy Head Coach Eric Chuter expects to have a big season in 2020.
“He excites us because he’s a 4-year guy. He’s a Salmen guy, he’s been here and he’s really taken charge of that defense and I really like how we are upfront, I’m excited about it,” says Coach Chuter.
Simmons adds, “We have returning linebackers and returning lineman that know our playbook really well. We know how to maneuver around it and coach gives us the opportunity to just really play free. So we just have fun and we play football.”
In a year where turnover is the story of their district, Coach Chuter says the key to capitalizing will be focusing on things they can control.