Last year in the Arizona Gridiron Football League, the Arizona Spartans clicked at just the right time and surprised several teams throughout the playoffs on their way to the championship game where they fell to the Southwest Stampede.
“We had a great run last year,” Spartans owner Detrick Howard told Developmental Football USA. “We pulled together for a common goal and made it to the championship. We changed a few pieces to our puzzle, but the puzzle is still the same and that’s to get back and to win a championship.”
It’s a new year now and the Spartans are expecting another strong season in 2019 in the newly formed Arizona Cactus Football League.
“This new league is providing a lot of fun and coverage for the game in Arizona,” Howard said. “Arizona deserves a better brand of football and I believe this league is providing that for us.”
Last year, it was the Stampede that got the best of the Spartans and they’re once again the No. 1 team, while – to the surprise of many around the league – the Spartans come in ranked No. 9.
This year, the Spartans will be without quarterback Daniel Smith, who received a scholarship to Miles College in Alabama after leading the Spartans to last year’s championship.
“We have a new quarterback this year and I can’t wait to see what he brings come game time,” Howard said. “He have a couple of running backs that will help out this year with balancing out our offense.”
The Spartans will also be without wide receiver Martwon Weaver, who signed with the Stampede this off-season and has next-level abilities.
“We actually have a few guys on both sides of the ball with the ability to make a move to college or beyond,” Howard said. “It’s our job to put them in a great position to do so.”
Defensively, Howard expects the Spartans to be strong as he looks to the trenches for leadership.
“Our defensive line will be one of the best in the league,” Howard said. “We also have a new group of defensive backs this year that are young and hungry.”
The Spartans’ goal for 2019 is “to return to the ‘ship and leave as champions.’”
“I expect to have a great season with the guys and coaches this year,” Howard said.