North Newton Spartans
Inside the Spartans
Last season: 4-6
Returning starters: 10 (5 offense, 5 defense)
Returning offensive leader
Jono Bigger, So., QB. 19-59 passing, 236 yards, 4 touchdowns
Returning defensive leader
Tyler Richardson, Jr., LB. 49 tackles, 2 sacks.
Casey Schultz, Jr., OL/LB. Schultz will bring some stability on both lines with his aggressive style and great instincts. “He’s going to be an impact player on defense and be a solid guy for us up front,” coach Aaron Sauter said.
He's got next
Evan Herr, So., RB/DB. Herr has shown some talent early as a running back. “He’s really good in space, and we just need to develop a little more technique,” Sauter said. “Speed wise, he’s a blazer.”
The Times' breakdown
The Spartans suffered heavy graduation losses but will look to build on last year’s accomplishments under the guidance of new coach Aaron Sauter, who spent the past five years at Indianapolis Northwest. Sauter expects to establish a run-oriented attack and employ a 3-4 defensive scheme. North Newton has a few pieces to build around, including 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback Bigger, whose skills are a big upside. “Jono has potential to be extremely good in this offense, but it’s going to take some further development,” Sauter said. “It’s going to take some time.” Herr and senior Sam Thomas, among others, will be counted on to carry the rushing load. “I have a lot of running backs, but they need development,” Sauter said. Defensively, the Spartans will be aggressive by applying the pressure but playing it safe. The Spartans will also count on their 10 seniors to fill rolls and endure the ups and downs of the season. “(The seniors are) going to be who will determine how good the team is,” Sauter said. “They’re not going to be superstars, but we need them to be contributors. They’re out there working to make everyone better.”
— Christopher Breach