Spartans fall but remain optimistic


Photo courtesy Michael Owens/The New York Times

Anthony Lulgjuraj, Reporter

It has been a very long time since the STAC sprint football team has played a full game of football. We have not seen the Spartans in action since the Fall of 2019 and many players were eager to get on the field for their spring game against Caldwell University. All of the built up emotions and eagerness since the pandemic swept across the world were ready to be let out on that field in New Jersey. 

Despite a strong showing from the Spartan defense, the Spartans fell 21-0 to Caldwell. The game was close throughout and it wasn’t until a Steven Yost to Jared Dockett score in the fourth quarter that sealed the deal. For STAC, quarterback Kiel McKenzie completed 7/19 passes for 40 yards and 2 interceptions and backup quarterback Jayden Bennermon completed 5/8 passes for 45 yards and no interceptions. Meanwhile for Caldwell, quarterback Steven Yost completed 5/9 passes for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

As mentioned previously the Spartan defense was able to keep the game close until the very end. Three different Spartan defenders recorded a sack which included Kyle Teneyck, Kyle Marsha, and Christopher Jones. As a defensive minded Head Coach, Matthew Barry could not be happier with the effort the defense played with throughout the contest and will look to build towards next season in the fall. 

Players were just grateful with the opportunity to be able to play a game after their Fall 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were supposed to be more spring exhibition games scheduled but due to the concerns from other schools about COVID-19 they opted to not play in these games. The Spartans see this as an opportunity to get ahead of their opponents heading into next season. Instead of treating the spring as an off-season, the sprint football team has taken advantage of being able to practice and play this spring in order to stay in shape and be ready to go when the time comes in the fall. 

There have been many challenges that Barry and his team have encountered since their inaugural season in the Fall of 2018. No challenge was as massive as the pandemic was and every single player and coach patiently waited for the opportunity to play again. Despite the loss, the Spartans believe that they can build off this and will continue to put in hard work and dedication both on and off the football field. 

As the Spartans begin preparing for next season, they say farewell to seniors Patrick Owens and Jimmy English and will look to fill the voids left by these two remarkable athletes. The future looks very promising for the young and talented Spartans and as the chemistry begins to develop even further, they will look to challenge Collegiate Sprint Football League (CSFL) powerhouses Army and Navy.