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Veteran leadership paves the way for Spartan football

The+White+Station+defense+lines+up+against+Briarcrest+in+the+first+game+of+the+season.
The White Station defense lines up against Briarcrest in the first game of the season.

The White Station defense lines up against Briarcrest in the first game of the season.

Eva McDonald

Eva McDonald

The White Station defense lines up against Briarcrest in the first game of the season.

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The sound of energetic, hyped-up cheers from the student section fill the air. The band plays with passion. On the field, the players in green and white look determined and ready. White Station football is back.

Quarterback Drew Lyons (11) is crucial to this team. Lyons, the younger brother of former Spartan and now Air Force Academy quarterback John, is the starting quarterback this season. This is an opportunity Lyons has always desired and prepared for, and he is ready to prove himself.

“I’m more determined than anything…I’ve really tried to prepare myself as best as possible to be the lone starter and I’m ready for the challenge,” Lyons said.

Running back Greg Williams (12) is the featured and an explosive kick returner on the special teams unit. Multiple universities have reached out to him, including Murray State and Samford. A highlight of the first game of the season against Briarcrest was when Williams returned a kickoff for a 99 yard touchdown. He followed that performance with two rushing touchdowns against Desoto Central.

Along with being a playmaker, he carries himself as an essential veteran leader on the team.

“Yes, I do consider myself a leader and I have other senior leaders like Jordan Donald, Ben Echols, Xavier Robinson and Micah Breckenridge,” Williams said.

White Station’s 2017 schedule is not an easy one. Two of the first three games were away games against tough opponents, Briarcrest and CBHS. The Spartans lost both of those games but picked up a win at home against Desoto Central in which senior tight end Garrett Sapp, another player with D-1 offers, had a fabulous game, with 11 receptions for 133 yards. The Spartans also suffered a tough week 4 loss to Hernando on the road. Later on in the season, the Spartans will take on rivals Whitehaven and Central. These two games will arguably be the toughest tests for the Spartans.

The departure of the class of 2017 seniors marks a new era in White Station football. The coaching staff, led by head coach Joe Rocconi, has developed many juniors and seniors into the players they are today. Players who have not always had opportunities in the past will have to step up this year in order for the team to be successful.

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Veteran leadership paves the way for Spartan football