Roanoke, Va. – The Virginia Spartans are one of two high school teams playing this fall. The Spartans are made up mostly of home-schoolers, like Gabriel Sweat, who is in his first year on the team.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted, a dream I wanted to pursue,” Sweat said.
But according to head coach Ron Taconet, this year is a little different.
“This year we’ve opened it up, and we are allowing a minimal number of public schoolers,” Taconet explained.
With the cancellation of nearly all high school fall sports, players like Franklin County’s Jamerise Holland knew he needed to play, and was allowed to join the Spartans.
“Since day one I liked the game, I feel like I’m very talented at it and its the one sport I like the most,” Holland said.
Even though the Spartans lost a handful of seniors last year, the National Homeschool Football Association has them ranked 20th in the nation, and the unit to watch is their defense.
“We have had just a really good defense over the last couple years, we have a great defensive coordinator,” Taconet said.
And Holland agreed, “I feel like if everyone stays together, then we will be something this year. Our secondary is just unstoppable.:
That will be put to the test on Saturday, when they open up the season against Beacon Hill out of Richmond.
“It could be a good match up,” Taconet said. “Beacon hill is a good team, they have some good players, but this is their first season so I think we’ll be able to go toe to toe with them.”
Kick off is at 2 p.m. on Saturday at River’s Edge sports complex.