RIVERVIEW — Friday nights for Todd Sims are a little more action packed than most players. The senior plays running back and strong safety for Spoto, and his coach said it can be a challenge to try to get Sims off the field for a break.
“Todd doesn’t want to come off the field. He would fight us if we tried to take him off,” head coach Dale Caparaso said.
Sims got his start in football by playing pickup games in the backyard and in the park. A youth coach noticed Sims in 2008 and got him to come out for organized football.
Playing offense and defense has always been normal for Sims, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love both sides. I never want to leave the field. I just like being a team player. If my team needs me, I’m there,” Sims said.
Spoto will need Sims this year as it attempts to make the playoffs for the second straight year — the Spartans had never reached the postseason before last season.
“It felt great (to make the playoffs last year). We are still champions in the end because we still made it,” Sims said.
Sims hopes to play in college. If he doesn’t, he plans to go to medical school and be an orthopedic surgeon.
No matter what path he chooses, you can count on Sims staying a very busy man.
Spoto used a spread offense last season. Head coach Dale Caparaso decided he didn’t like the results, so he is going back to the offense Spoto is more well known for — the Delaware Wing T.
“We didn’t have the run game to maintain the lead (last season),” Caparaso said.
Caparaso also said that the Spartans were not able to get the ball to Todd Sims enough. Among Spoto players returning this year, Sims had the most all-purpose yards last year.
“When you have one of the premier athletes in Hillsborough County, you need to get him the ball,” Caparaso said.
Sims will have help on offense. The Spartans will get a lift from Terrance Williams, who transferred from Jefferson in the offseason. Nine of the 11 starters for Spoto last year return and the offensive line will feature three members who weigh more than 300 pounds.
“We have a large and athletic offensive line,” Caparaso said.
Even though Spoto will have multiple players playing on both sides of the ball, the Spartans still plan on attacking on every defensive snap.
“We blitz every down,” Caparaso said. “Eighty percent of the time, we blitz two guys.”
Sims and Williams will be key members of the defense. Caparaso said Spoto has multiple players who can run in the 4.4s for a 40 and speed will be a big strength of the defense.
“We are just flat-out fast. This is fastest group we have had since I’ve been at Spoto,” Caparaso said.
Spoto plays in a district with only two other teams (Jesuit and Middleton). Even though those two games will determine Spoto’s playoff fate, the Spartans don’t plan on taking the rest of their games lightly.
“We don’t go about things any different. We need to concentrate on the opponent ahead of us. We play who the schedule tells us to play,” Caparaso said.
♦ About The Spartans
Stadium: Spartan Stadium
Class-District: 5A-9 (with Jesuit and Middleton)
Coach: Dale Caparaso (49-54, 11th season overall; 29-33, seventh season at Spoto)
Last season: 3-8
Aug. 29: Wharton
Sept. 5: Strawberry Crest
Sept. 12: at Steinbrenner
Sept. 19: East Bay
Sept. 26: Alonso
Oct. 3: at Jesuit
Oct. 17: at Plant City
Oct. 24: Middleton
Oct. 31: at Lennard
Nov. 7: at Leto