Spartans value the experiences garnered in 2015

In a season that had many high notes, the back-to-back ROPSSAA Champions Lorne Park Spartans have their 2015 end on a bit of a damper after falling to the St. Roch Ravens.

Regarded as one of the nation’s top high school football programs, the Spartans rightfully came into the 2015 season with the bar high with many players from the 2014 ROPSSAA Championship team still intact for the following season. “It was a great goal for our team to try to repeat as regional champs because it was something we knew was possible and within reach for us,” says Spartans’ defensive back Sean Cotter.

One of the main points of emphasis for Lorne Park was to start the season strong. In 2014, the Spartans scrapped their way into the playoffs and went on the win the region. However, that team is very aware of how close they were to not even making the post-season at all. So in turn, the 2015 Spartans looked to avoid creating late-season desperation and placing their fate in the hands of their ROPSSAA rivals by making sure they were in the driver’s seat from day one.

As the season got underway, the Spartans had their foot on the gas pedal winning all five of their regular-season games and earning a first-round bye in the playoffs. Through that stretch, Lorne Park was strong on both sides of the ball, averaging 34 points offensively, while giving up an average of 10 points per game on the defensive side (Ranked 1st and 2nd in ROPSSAA respectively).

Things would not be easy for Lorne Park all the way through the regular season though. The Spartans encountered a tough task Week 6 in the Mount Carmel Crusaders. At the time, both teams were ranked in the #CFC50 and possessed 4-0 records. However, the Spartans were able to pull through with a late touchdown to enter the regular season undefeated.

During their playoff bye week, Lorne Park football celebrated the career of Spartans’ alumnus and former NFL Punter Klaus Wilmsmeyer in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Super Bowl.

Once the playoffs began for the Spartans, Lorne Park was able to defeat St. Marcellinus for a second time this season. Despite the game being played in less than ideal field conditions, the Spartans were able to overcome those obstacles to make the championship round and have an opportunity to win their third straight regional final.

 

However, this year saw the St. Roch Ravens claim the ROPSSAA title, foiling the plans of a Lorne Park three-peat. Nonetheless, Cotter believes the championship game loss provided the team with an opportunity to learn how strong of a bond the Spartans players have with one another. “Our team overcame a lot of adversity this season. Football is about the brotherhood not the wins and losses at the end of the day because years later, it’s the relationships and memories with coaches and players that make a season memorable, not the record.”

 

 

 

 

 

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