Back in August, predictions were coming in for the Vikings to finish no better than 5-5, and honestly, with the schedule Spartanburg had in front of them, you could understand some of their points especially with what the Vikings lost in the offseason.
The 2016 Spartanburg Vikings were having none of it. Spartanburg finished the regular season 7-3, 3-1 in Region play and will be a 2 seed in the 5A bracket beginning November 18th. Spartanburg capped off the season with a 45-35 win over Gaffney. The Vikings will host Clover, the 3 seed from Region IV. The Vikings will be on the top half of the Upper state bracket with Westside, Laurens, Nation Ford, and the Dorman Cavaliers. Boiling Springs and Northwestern are the two 1 seeds on the bottom half of the bracket.
All in all, what an fantastic season for the Spartanburg Vikings. Below are some of my thoughts on the win over Gaffney and the season.
- If it’s 3rd and 10, I can absolutely without any shadow of a doubt tell you that I trust and believe in William Yex to make the play. He makes great reads, has a very solid, consistent arm, and is tough as nails. His ball fakes in zone reads have improved a ton each week. He fooled me twice against Gaffney. What an outstanding year the Senior had.
- I can’t say enough about Damyjai Foster. A shutdown corner, true playmaker with the ball in his hands. Eight rushing TDs, huge play after huge play, and his special teams work this year…simply amazing.
- Eric Rice has come up big time and time again. Against Gaffney, Rice’s moves looked more like former Gaffney Indian Sydney Rice. He made more guys miss than I can’t count. He’s had multiple huge games including an unforgettable 4th quarter against Westside.
- It’s been so much fun watching the improvement of Ladarius Jones. He hits the right hole each time and has become a real threat to run on the outside. He’s a true threat both in the run game and as a WR.
- Tommy Washington is a true team player. Big catches, great blocks, and he punts. He’s so reliable and remember, he’s only a junior.
- Josh Johnson and Romain Kelly continue to play faster every week. Those 2 know how to accelerate to contact better than anyone on the team.
- The OL has come a very long way and I thought played so well against Gaffney. They only gave up 10 sacks all year and Spartanburg ran for over 200 yards on the final regular season game.
- Ayele Jeter- WOW. Mr. Tackle in the Backfield. 16 Sacks…Seriously…Wow!
- The DL has been a huge strength this year. Satorian Mobley, Josh Villegas, Trent Byrd, and now MarQuese Henderson. A very fun group to watch.
- Reggie Anderson has had a very solid season. MLB, DE, he is asked to do a lot and has gotten better each week.
- Jay Rice takes over certain quarters. He’ll make 4 or 5 tackles in a row. What a monster 1st half against Gaffney.
- Thompson Rudolph is excelling in the nickle/outside LB role. He was our defensive player of the game against Gaffney as he make some Huge tackles.
- BJ Roseburgh had 4 INTs in region play. His improvement has been a huge plus and was very much needed.
- Orinthius Byrd, a North/South All Star (along with Ladarius Jones) has had a very good year. Another pick against Gaffney, he’s so consistent in the backfield.
- Jalen Girdner is a very very good cover safety. He’s only a sophomore and is gonna be a stud in the next few years.
- Finally, Connor Shugart. He’s so much fun to watch. Hits the right hole every time, makes big hits and always wraps up so well. He makes so many great plays that go unnoticed…and many that are noticed. He makes everyone around him so much better and is such a special player. His form and technique is very impressive. A college is gonna get a very good football player.