PICTURED: Summit running back Tai Carter
By SAM McGAW
After earning their first playoff appearance and finishing with a program-best 7-4 record last season, the Spartans have plans on making even more history in 2017.
“It was a huge monkey off the back to finally get (to the playoffs),” Summit head coach Brian Coleman said at Williamson County Schools Media Day. “It was a great experience from last year for these guys. We were up 21-0 at halftime against a great Cane Ridge team and they came back and won that game. A lot of positives and negatives to take away from that game and to build off that experience.”
Summit, which will compete in Region 5-5A this season, returns its top playmaker in running back Tai Carter.
The senior helped spearhead a wing-T attack that averaged 32.7 points per game last season. He closed the year with 1,376 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.
“Tai has worked really hard in the offseason,” Coleman said. “He’s been to a lot of camps, and what everybody says about him is he’s a competitor. He competes in all the drills and he competes in everything he does. Right now, the biggest thing for him is to be a leader for these other guys, and I think he’ll do a great job doing that.”
Payton Craig, Quinn Slaugenhoupt and George Odimegwu will see time at slot back, while Jatevion Hayes will play receiver and Nick Johnson will line up at tight end.
Sophomore Ethan Cash replaces Michael Zakrzrewski (Graduated) at quarterback.
“Ethan is a very good thrower and he can also run the football very well,” Coleman said. “We’re always run first. We also know you have to pass the ball to be successful and get deep into the playoffs and beat great teams. If we can throw the ball and be successful out of (the wing-T), then we’ll do that.”
Tackles Kody Davis and Mason Leatherwood and guard Trevor Kuehl are returning starters up front.
Defensively, the Spartans will continue to base out of the 3-4.
Junior Brayden Stem and senior Chance Jarosz are returning starters on the defensive line, while Robert Holmes and Johnson will play inside linebacker.
Carter and Hayes are starting cornerbacks. They’re joined in the secondary by safeties Chandler Alexander and Jacob Douglas.
Sam McGaw is the sports editor for Brentwood Home Page, Franklin Home Page, Nolensville Home Page and Spring Hill Home Page. Follow him on Twitter @SamMcGaw_ .