Spartans hit the gridiron with new attitude

South Jefferson football
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 7:42 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - 2022 marked a disappointing season on the football field for the South Jefferson Spartans.

A new attitude has the Spartans hopeful this season.

2022 started off good for South Jeff with an 18-7 win over Cortland. But that would be the only win for the Spartans, who finished 1-7 overall and 0-4 in the Class B Northeast Division.

Randy Fuller stepped down in the off season and former coach Aaron Rivers came back for his second stint with the Spartans. Rivers says he likes what he sees from his team early on.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that play multiple sports so that’s always great,” he said. “We’ve got baseball players, basketball players, so we have some athletic guys that have a sense of moving around the football field.”

On offense, Landon LaDuke is back at quarterback for the Spartans after sharing time with Cobin O’Brien last season. LaDuke says he’s looking for more offensive production from the Spartans in 2023.

“We’ve got a lot of older guys this year, really experienced,” he said. “We’re ready to play. We’re going to put points on the board, that’s for sure.”

The Spartans will be playing in Section III’s Class B2 Division with Cortland, Jamesville-DeWitt, Mexico, and Oswego and won’t be eligible for sectional playoffs, instead taking part in Class B2′s postseason.

That hasn’t diminished the players’ excitement for the upcoming season...

“We have a lot of kids coming back,” senior running back Isaac Quonce said. “Last year we didn’t do too good, but now we’re in a new league, so we should be pretty good.”

“We have new guys, they’re great,” senior cornerback Lucas Bertram said. “I feel like we’re going to have an impact this season and we’ll have a shot at maybe going undefeated. Maybe not, but, like, to see what happens.”

What will be the key to success for the Spartans in 2023? Rivers says the answer is simple.

“A lot of dedication and hard work at this point,” he said. “We look forward to that, though, and we’re really excited about the season.”

The Spartans kick off the 2023 season hosting Cortland on September 8.