FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - New personnel, a new class and new game plans make for a tall order for the Homestead High School football program this season.
Homestead, one of 32 schools in the IHSAA's new Class 6A in football, returns seven total starters from a team that went undefeated in the regular season a year ago.
"It's an opportunity for any young kid coming up," head coach Chad Zolman says. "We tell them coming up: everything's wide open, and everybody's competing for a spot."
11 practices complete. This young group is getting better. Keep working, it will pay off. Go Spartans!— Homestead Football (@HHSSpartansFB) August 11, 2013
Changes in personnel has given way to the Spartans using a more traditional rushing attack to replace a high-flying spread offense used over the past few years.
"They've done a lot of things to make things easier in terms of learning and being where you need to be," senior Oleg Brown says. "I feel like the offense is really picking everything up really quickly."
Homestead may lack noticable names heading into the 2013 season, but moving players into the right places could be the Spartans' star power.
"We really don't have just one single leader," senior Tristan Phillips says. "I think that's actually better, because if there's a lot of people stepping up, that means a lot of people are working together."
Homestead has shared a portion of the Northeast Hoosier Conference Championship in eight of the past nine seasons. Adding another NHC title may be a challenge this year, but expect the Spartans to be near the top again this season.
Homestead opens at rival Huntington North before hosting fellow 6A powerhouse Valparaiso in Week 2.
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