It’s been two seasons since the Lake Forest Spartans qualified for the Division II DIAA Football tournament. The Spartans went 8-2 during the regular season and advanced to the quarterfinals.
Since then, Lake Forest has managed six wins over two seasons.
However, the turnaround may be coming. After finishing 2-8 in 2016, the Spartans improved to 4-6 a year ago.
With some returning starters on offense and an improved defense, the Spartans have eyes on reclaiming their spot among the top Henlopen South teams.
Offensively, Lake Forest showed a lot of promise in their victories last season. In three of the four, the Spartans scored 40 or more points, including a 51-point explosion against Tatnall and a 60-point outburst at Seaford.
Many of the key pieces to the Spartans offense are back with experience under their belts.
“Isaiah Johnson is returning for his sophomore year, and had a good freshman year rushing for over 700 yards,” said head coach Fred Johnson. “We’re looking for Isaiah to have a better year this year, running behind a solid offensive line.”
Behind center, Shyron Salandy is back with a larger role as the starting quarterback.
“Shyron is strong, physical, fast and can really throw the ball,” Johnson said. “He took several snaps last year and should have a good year as the full-time starter.”
With returning talent on the offensive side of the ball, the Spartans will look for more consistency. While their offense was electric in their victories, they struggled, scoring 15 points or less, in their six defeats. Consistency on the defensive end will be just as important after the unit averaged over 32 points against last year.
Heading into the opener, Johnson believes the defense is headed in the right direction.
“The defense has improved compared to last year, we have more team speed,” Johnson said. “We’re hoping to improve each week and be competitive every Friday night.”
The Spartans will open their season on road Saturday afternoon, traveling to Wilmington Friends with kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m.
Lake Forest will open at home Friday, Sept. 14 against Tatnall at 7 p.m.