Spartans look to bounce back
By Josh Staloch
LUXEMBURG – At 4-1 to start last season, the Luxemburg-Casco High football team was firing on all cylinders. But in week six at home against Freedom, disaster struck when quarterback Max Ronsman, then a junior and a key component of the Spartans’ offensive attack, suffered a season-ending leg injury.
“That kind of derailed everything. We tried to bring in a couple of different guys, mix and match, and we did manage to win another game and make it into the playoffs,” said fourth-year head coach Neil Seering. “Losing our starting quarterback definitely made a difference but I think the other thing was, some of the other seniors from that class were forced to step up and I don’t think they had ever been put in that situation before, where they had to.
The bright side that came with the letdown of losing Ronsman early, according to coach Seering, was that a lot of players learned that they had more to give, they were expected to do more and a lot of them responded. Some leaders emerged out of that challenge and some of them will be leading this year’s group.
With that in the rearview, this year’s team has a lot of returning talent.
Ronsman is back, at full strength according to coach Seering, and he’s ready to lead.
Some of last year’s juniors, who have waited patiently for their turn to contribute, will be counted on to make plays this season alongside the team’s returning playmakers.
Among those expected to make an impact this year are tight end Trace Schoenebeck, receiver/linebacker Braeden Schley, defensive back/wide receiver Brady Massey; running back Chris VanderWielen.
The Spartans’ offensive line will be made up primarily of seniors, including Ryland Day; Ezra Waege; Max Thayse; Brett Yunk and Ethan Routhieaux.
Defensively, the Spartans, like the Kewaunee Storm, whom they will see in week two, generally look to run a 3-3 stack and try to use quickness to get guys to the ball, according to coach Seering.
“Bend, but don’t break, and we want to be sure we’re always reading the offense correctly.”
The more simple the approach, the better off the defense will be and coach Seering is going to count on his players to do their job and react to how the play unfolds.
“Play fast and know your role. That’s been our best anecdote for the last couple of years. And when we got out of that, it’s been not good. So, just keep it simple.”
More than anything else, coach Seering and his tightly-knit crew of assistants, whom he credits a large portion of the team’s progress to, stress a sense of brotherhood among their players. Seering said a sense of family throughout the team pays dividends as the season progresses.
“A connected team is a powerful team and if this team stays connected, they can do great things. My job is to keep hitting the little buttons to keep us heading in the right direction but we’ve got great leadership among our players. We have good athleticism and good depth, we’ve just got to put it all together and stay healthy.”