RB/DB Connor Wedington (5’11, 185, ’17) – Weddington may be the most explosive and versatile playmaker in the state. He’ll start both ways for the Spartans and, while he’s still waiting for recruiting to take off, make no mistake, he will be one of the more highly sought-after prospects in the state by the time he signs in February of 2017.
LB/RB Josh Riley (5’9, 170, ’16) – Riley, an All-SPSL performer last season, will be a heavy contributor on offense, but defense is where he makes his biggest impact.
DB/WR Tre Weed (5’11, 175, ’18) – The sophomore is a transfer from Bonney Lake and he really impressed the coaching staff this spring with his abilities as a playmaker on both sides of the ball.
LB Jack McDonald (6’1, 210, ’16) – Big-time leader on the defense who makes all of the calls and adjustments.
OL Seth Carnahan (6’7, 245, ’17) – Since this is just his first season of playing football, Carnahan is still really raw, but the coaches think the sky is the limit on what he can become. Even with his lack of experience, Carnahan impressed enough to earn the starting left tackle spot heading into the season.
It’s hard to believe, but this will be Keith Ross’ 18th season with the Spartans with the last 15 as the head coach.
During that time, Ross has taken a program that rarely found their way into the postseason to a regular participant in the playoffs. He’s also taken them from the 2A classification to 3A and he’s developed enough talent to make Sumner a destination for most college coaches in the spring and fall.
This season, Ross and his staff have just five senior starters returning, but with the underclass talent on the roster, they are definitely built for the future.
At quarterback, the Spartans will have to find a replacement for Chase Torgison, a four-year starter, who led the team to the playoffs last season.
Junior Skyler Sandretzky (5’9, 160) and sophomore Luke Ross (6’1, 160) are locked in a battle to see who will lead the Sumner offensive attack.
Whoever handles to quarterbacking duties, he will have one of the top playmakers in the state to hand the ball off to in Connor Wedington (5’11, 185). Expect the coaches to do all they can to get Wedington touches, lining him up in the backfield at tailback, splitting him outside at receiver and also giving him reps as a punt and kick returner.
At receiver, the coaches couldn’t be any more excited than they are about the addition of sophomore Tre Weed (5’11, 175) to their team after he transferred there this summer. The sophomore is dynamic with the ball in his hands and he’ll see plenty of targets this fall.
While he might not be as electric was Weed, junior Tyson Rainwater (6’1, 170) is a solid receiver with the ability to get open and be physical with defensive backs.
Because Sumner is a run-heavy team, junior tight end Michael Carey (6’3, 210) is featured more as a blocker and he’s very good at that respect, but he’s also got soft hands and he’ll see some targets in the passing game as well.
Junior Seth Carnahan (6’7, 245) is very raw, this will be his first year of football, but the coaches think he can be dominant at the position.
Joining him will be senior center Kelly Kraeger (5’10, 310), the only returning starter along the line. He will be flanked by senior Vaugh Smith (5’9. 220) and junior Ian Pudney (5’10, 190) at the guard spots while junior Jacob Clark (6’3, 205) handles right tackle.
Along the defensive line, the Spartans will feature one of the biggest fronts in the state with Carey at defensive end, senior Jake Harmon (6’1, 305) and junior Nick Owen (6-0, 245) inside at the tackles.
Ross, a former All-American linebacker at Central Washington, says that the group of linebackers on the roster could be the best he’s ever had in his 15 years at the helm.
Leading the way are seniors Jack McDonald (6’1, 210) and Josh Riley (5’9, 170), two All-SPSL players with lots of experience.
Also in the mix for playing time will be senior Kolby Nikolaisen (5’10, 175) and sophomore Ben Wilson (6’1, 210) who the coaches are very excited to get on the field.
The secondary will feature Wedington and Weed at the corners while Sandretzky will be at one of the safety spots.
The Bottom Line: This is the year that the Spartans could make a move in the 3A classification. They have a lot of talented skill position players and if they get consistent quarterback play, they should be able to stretch defense both vertically and horizontally and their defense has enough speed and size to be pretty tough to score on. They should easily make the Round of 32 and could find their way into the quarterfinals, but they may need another year before they can put themselves into a position to make a run at a state title.
Vs. Auburn Mountainview (9/25)
@ Bonney Lake (10/23)
Vs. Lakes (10/16)