Head coach: Ernest E. Tolbert (First year)
Classification: GHSA Region 3B-AAA
2005 record: 6-4
Four-year record (since 2002): 18-23
Last playoff appearance: 2004
Returning starters: 8 offense, 8 defense
Key Spartans: Senior LB Larry Blue (6-0, 210); Senior CB/WR Demantrez Calloway (5-11, 195); Senior DE Michael Parks (6-3, 260); Senior OL Dan Johnson (6-1, 290); Senior CB Sean Wallace (5-8, 170); Sophomore DE Jerrico Brown (6-0, 240)
Offensive attack: Calloway is an exceptional athlete who'll be counted on to make plays in space with the ball. Junior QB Michael Evans (6-1, 200) has emerged as a team leader despite little experience. Sophomore RB Collin Bing (5-11, 170) has as much potential as any underclassman runner in the area.
Defensive keys: Blue switches from quarterback last year. That's a good indication of his athleticism and decision-making skills. Parks brings top-tier size to the defensive end spot. He'll be great in run support. Wallace is regarded as the team's top cover man. Senior LB Maurice Goodwin (5-11, 175) is a physical hitter.
Thin at: Offensive line and running back
Big game: vs. Washington County, Nov. 3
Different this year: Schedule says goodbye to Richmond Academy and hello to Washington County. To make the playoffs this year, the Spartans know they must outperform Thomson or Washington County. That's no small feat.
Could go bad if: Glenn Hills cannot find a running game and Evans struggles in his first season as a varsity passer.
Great year if: Evans can handle the playcalling duties just enough to give Blue and the rest of the defense a shot.