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By Russ Green-Sports Editor
Last year at this time, the Richmond Spartans entered the Class 3, District 8 playoffs limping. A banged up Spartan crew entered its opening district contest at home with injuries to several key personnel and the result was a 35-13 loss at home to No. 6 seeded St. Pius.
This year, the Spartans are a healthier crew and looking to make a deeper run into the post-season as they prepare for Friday night’s matchup with Kansas City Northeast. Once again, Richmond enters the 7 p.m. kickoff at Tom Adams Field as the No. 3 seed in district, and appear to be ready to erase last year’s memory.
“Last year we were so beat up we were just trying cobble together stuff and it really showed,” Richmond coach Rob Bowers said. “This year – knock on wood – we’re fairly healthy and I think we have a little more depth than what we had last year. We’re still young and still learning, but I feel we are in better shape than last year so now we just have to go out and play well.”
The Spartans bring a 6-3 record into the contest in what has been a learning experience for a young squad. For the second year in a row, Richmond finished league play with a 3-2 record and a third-place showing, and enter Friday’s game having won three of the last four. The lone setback was a last-second loss at Holden. Since then, Richmond rolled Knob Noster 49-0, and finished strong to beat Lexington 42-20.
Bowers said his team is light years ahead of where it was when practices opened in August.
“At the first of the year when we got into games and somebody did something different defensively, our kids just did not pick up the changes very well,” he said. “Friday night was a good example. Lexington came out and played their defensive ends a lot different then what we had seen on tape. So we changed some blocking assignments on a couple of plays and our kids went out and did it and looked good doing it. We couldn’t do that at the beginning of the year.”
The complete story is in the Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 Richmond News.