Young Spartans football team endures trying season

SPEARFISH — Spearfish’s football team endured a lot of growing pains during a 0-10 season that head coach Chad McCarty called trying.

“The biggest thing is, we were a young team,” Spartans’ head coach Chad McCarty said. He added he appreciated the hard work of the team’s few seniors. 

Nine seniors played for the Spartans. The roster also included seven juniors, 12 sophomores, and 11 ninth-graders.

“I commend the younger guys for having the courage to take the field week in and week out,” McCarty said. He added the team knew it was undersized and a bit outmatched most of the time, but it got after things.

That youth was an area of concern going into the season. McCarty said the sophomores did well, but injuries plagued some of them.

“The juniors that we have stepped up and really played well,” McCarty said. “I was very happy with the freshmen that came out. Those guys are a talented, young bunch.”

Spearfish fell 49-0 to Yankton in the season opener and fell 44-13 to Custer at home. A 72-0 homecoming setback to Pierre dropped the Spartans’ record to 0-5.

The Spartans fell 17-3 to Mitchell and 14-0 to Douglas. “Those were teams that we were matched up with as far as age and size,” McCarty said.

McCarty said the team matured as the season progressed. 

“They’re a group of very hard workers and good, young men,” McCarty said in describing the Spartans. “They’re going to be a good football team one of these days.”

As for season highlights, McCarty said, he enjoyed watching the young players progress. Mistakes made early in the season were not made later in the campaign.

“They were starting to understand the offensive philosophy,” McCarty said. “They were understanding the defense better.”

Jacob Johnson, Cade Lyon, Evan Hehr, and Jack Beringer were among the seniors providing great leadership and helped bring along their younger teammates, McCarty said.

Sean Wenzel and Peyton Millis progressed well at quarterback, according to McCarty. Derek Webster did well on both sides of the ball, with Johnson and Hehr also doing a lot, McCarty said.

John-Aage Hamnvik, Isaac Peterson, Bridger Janvrin, Charlie Waugh, Cade Lyon, Nathen Terrasas, Johnson, Beringer, and Hehr represented the senior class.

“Again, my hats off to them as far as being leaders,” McCarty said. “Obviously they got frustrated, but they didn’t emphasize the frustration. They just kept digging, week in and week out, trying to keep those young guys up and not get frustrated and keep them working all throughout the season.”

Numbers were down a bit for this season. McCarty said there is not a magic formula for getting those up to desired levels.

“I hope, for the betterment of the program, that things get better as far as participation,” McCarty said.

(Editor’s note: the interview for this story took place on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Chad McCarty said during that time he had turned in his resignation letter as head coach). 

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