After their first trip to the postseason since 1998 coming in 2015, the Spartans came up just a game short last season with a 4-6 regular season record. However, two of those wins came in the second half of the season last year beating Logan High School at home and basically eliminating Princeton from the playoffs with a win on the road. They would lose in Week 11 to Spring Valley which kept them from a playoff berth of their own.
“I think that was a big part of our off-season, having some success there at the end of the year and then playing a team, #2 in the State, at our place,” Head Coach Ray Lee said. “Our guys, they didn’t back down from it, and the score wasn’t an indication of their efforts on the field.”
This year, the Seniors that are rising to the leadership roles on the team say bonding and coming together as a family will be their Number One Goal.
“We’ve been working hard, getting ready, we really came together as a family this year,” Senior Devin Persinger said. “We break it down with ‘family’ every day, and it means something this year.”
To kick off the season, the Spartans will host their rival from right over the county line. The James Monroe Mavericks have won the last two match ups, but this time they’ll have to do it at Spartan Stadium.
“You gotta win the first game first, before we start thinking about the rest. [James Monroe] beat us two years in a row now, since I’ve been playing so it’s redemption time,” Persinger said.
The rest of the season doesn’t get any easier for East as they’ll play a tough Class-AAA Schedule and a few schools from out of State. Following James Monroe, the Spartans play two on the road at Woodrow Wilson and at Preston High School. During weeks four through six, East will host consecutive games against Bluefield, Buckhannon-Upshur, Alleghany, Va. Their second Virginia school match up comes in Week 7 against Lord Botetourt High School. After a Week 8 Bye, the Spartans visit Parkersburg South, return home to battle the Princeton Tigers, and close the season against Spring Valley.