There is no reason the 2015 season shouldn't hold the usual high expectations for the Wauwatosa Spartans Football Club.
In the team's seven-year existence, it has made the league championship or conference championship in every season but two.
Last season was an exception, as the Spartans uncharacteristically exited the MidStates Football League (MSFL) playoffs in the first round, after posting a 7-2 regular season record. But the team's coaches and owners have put last season behind them, and like what they see already as this season kicks off.
"We've brought in some exciting new talent on both sides of the ball, and we're all anxious to see how all the pieces fit together this season," head coach Brandy Spoerl said. "On paper, we look even stronger than last season, but we won't know until we get a couple games under our belt."
Some notable free agent additions include two athletes who should hold in the secondary.
Defensive back LaRon Ragsdale, who previously played with the Madison Mustangs and Milwaukee Iron of the Arena Football League is one. Ragsdale played in college at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Another new defensive back, Winston Roberts, played at Eastern Arizona University.
On the offensive side of the ball, the receiving corps and backfield have made some good additions.
Wide receiver Eric Kossorsis joins an already deep group of wide receivers. Kossorsis previously played with the Muskego Hitmen and played collegiately at the University of Wisconsin.
Running back Jerome Walker, who came from Concordia University, adds depth and versatility to the Spartan running game.
In the off-season, the MSFL was hit with some surprising team losses, when two perennial powerhouses — the Indiana Generals and the defending league champions Madison Mustangs — decided to fold up operations. But the league is still considered the premier league of its kind in the Midwest.
"There really is no off week in this league," Spoerl says. "Every week you play a very good team, so it's crucial to be able to get out of the gate quickly or it's very tough to recover and make the playoffs."
The Spartans opened league play on July 12 against the Quad City Raiders at Augustana College in Moline, Ill. However, severe weather forced an early cancellation in the second quarter with the Raiders up 16-7. The game will be made up later in the season.
The Spartans travel to Madison on Saturday, July 19, to play the Monona Warriors at 7 p.m. at Middleton High School. The Warriors lost the season opener to the Leyden Lions, 30-13.
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