Warriors and Trojans set to battle Friday night in Sparta

By | September 16, 2015 8:03 pm

Cheerleader chili supper and auction prior to the game

While the headline may sound that way, it’s not a tagline for a book or a movie about a battle in ancient Greece.

It’s simply a preview for a high school football game that involves two teams whose schools chose the strongest of soldiers to represent their athletes.

This Friday night, the Soddy Daisy Trojans and the Sparta Warriors will meet for the first time ever on the gridiron and it is a Region 4-5A match-up.

While the two schools have met, albeit scarcely, in other sports through the years, the change in football classifications by the TSSAA, has forced a match-up of the two on the football field.

The Chattanooga area high school comes to Sparta with a record of 3-0 this season and are coming off their bye week. The Trojans finished the season 4-7 last season and advanced to the playoffs where they lost in the first round to Oak Ridge.

Coach Matthan Houser talked about the Trojans, “Soddy Daisy is a very aggressive football team in each phase of the game. Offensively, they’ve put up a lot of points so far this season. They have a really good tailback and a few good wide receivers. Their QB makes smart decisions and they’ve hit several big plays in each game they’ve played. Defensively, they move around a lot and give a lot of different looks. They send pressure and make you execute on every play. They have also scored points on special teams with big returns. We must be sound in all phases of the game and play with a great energy level.”

The Warriors, who are now 2-2, are coming off a disappointing 41-0 loss to Cookeville in their most recent outing. Chris Richmond did rush for over 100 yards in the game, but that was basically the only offense that WCHS was able to get going.

Houser talked about improving on the last game, “We have to focus on improving as a team. We need to improve offensively by finishing drives. The past two weeks we’ve moved the ball well against really good opponents, but we weren’t getting the ball in the end zone. That’s been a huge focus for us this week. Defensively, we are focusing on swarming to the ball. We’ve had chances for big plays on defense, but we haven’t tackled as well as we should and we’ve had too many busted assignments. We have to fix all of those little things in order to be a good team. We also need to get healthy as a team so we are focusing on playing smart during the week and limiting our contact in practice in order for some injuries to heal.”

Coming off a huge loss to an archrival can be a tough thing for a team to bounce back from, but there is a lot of football left to play. Houser talked about how his team will bounce back.

“Our team knew coming into this season that we were going to play some tough teams and have some stretches of games where we needed to play well to be competitive. We haven’t played as well as we could the past two weeks. We’ve identified some of the reasons why and we’re focusing on fixing those problems. Our players have great attitudes and they’ve worked extremely hard all week to prepare themselves for Soddy Daisy. We’ll need to carry over those sharp practices to Friday night if we want to pick up win number 3.”

Kick off for Friday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Warrior Stadium.

The WCHS cheerleaders will have a chili supper and auction Friday prior to the football game in the high school cafeteria. The event will be from 5-7 p.m. This is a fundraiser to attend the National Cheerleading competition. The auction starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the school or at the door.

See Thursday’s print edition for a deeper look into Friday’s game.

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