The Spartans are hoping to expand their Wing-T offense to incorporate more passing from senior starting QB Alex Feemster. But make no mistake: Broad Run's running game will remain the focus. Senior RB Thayer Nelson (5 feet 6, 165 pounds) is the Spartans' only returning starter on offense. He amassed 1,246 yards and 12 touchdowns on 150 carries last season while playing with an injured back the final half of the season. "Thayer looks like he did at the beginning of last year," Coach Ken Belchik said. "And that's great to see. He toughed out the second half of the season, but he didn't have the same speed and agility. He played hurt, but he couldn't move up to his potential." In addition to Nelson, the Spartans will look for production from junior RB Clayton Able (5-11, 185) and senior RB Andrew McDaniel (6-0, 180) as well as senior WRs Kyle Boukedes (6-0, 180) and Ryan Skidgel (5-11, 180) and sophomore WR Ryan Diviny (6-0, 160). "We're light in the skill positions," Belchik said. "But we've got pretty decent speed, to say the least." The Spartans possess good size on the offensive line but are young, starting three sophomores in Gs George Black (6-0, 230) and Jake Muth (6-0, 210) and T Bryan Morrison (6-2, 230). They are joined by junior T Kyle Leahy (6-4, 265) and junior TE Mark Maglione (6-5, 230) as well as senior Cs Chris Choi (5-10, 215) and John Lansberg (5-10, 160).
Broad Run isn't much more experienced on defense, where senior LB Austin Lafollette (6-3, 210) will anchor a unit that probably will include six nonseniors in the starting lineup, including sophomore LBs Dustin Locascio (6-0, 190) and Brice Phillips (6-0, 175). Up front, the Spartans will range tremendously in size -- going as small as senior DE Byron Gaters (6-0, 180) and as big as junior DT Mario Cousar-Day (6-4, 301) -- but all will play aggressively. Feemster will lead a secondary unit that includes junior DB Chad Adams (6-0, 155) and senior S Adam Walker (6-0, 165). "I do know that we've got a very hard-working bunch that has already developed into a close-knit group," Belchik said of the inexperienced unit, "and there's something to be said for that."
Broad Run is young but has size and athletic ability. The question is just how long it will take the group to jell. That will need to happen quickly considering that four of the Spartans' first five games will be on the road. If they can come together and stay healthy, look for Broad Run to be in the mix for the district title.