North Springs is looking to new face to help the program become victorious once again.
In May the school announced it had named Jeff Phillips as its new head coach, replacing Scotty Parker, who was fired in October after an 0-6 start to the 2020 season, which ended 0-8. The Spartans are mired in a 16-game losing streak and have not won a game since Aug. 30, 2019.
Enter Phillips, who served as Wheeler’s co-offensive coordinator last season. He’s been on North Springs’ campus since March to get to know the players.
Prior to 2020, he was the head coach for seven years at Austin-East High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he led the Roadrunners to five straight playoff berths, region titles in 2015 and 2016 and region runner-up finishes from 2017-19. What Phillips’ outlook for this season?
“Just looking to build the program, lay a foundation and try to improve on some of the success the team had last year, but building stability and building a strong foundation for the North Springs program,” he said. “That’s our main focus and our main goal, to develop the program and to compete. I think that’s the biggest thing, to compete for four quarters and let the chips fall where they fall.”
The Spartans, who return five starters each on offense and defense, will miss RB Mynek Royalston and DB Jordan Dugger, who graduated.
North Springs will look to five returning players for leadership – seniors Fred White (WR/CB) and Varciar Taylor (LB) and juniors Charles Seawell (MLB) and Lee Levingston III (WR/CB) and sophomore RB/DB Drushun Phillips, who played WR last year.
The Spartans expect to get contributions from sophomores Chris Johnson (TE/LB) and Antwan Barnett (LT/DE) and freshman DB/WR Jarquis Williams.
When asked how he plans to get North Springs on a successful track, Phillips said it only takes one victory to build upon.
“You can’t win five or six without winning one (first),” he said. “Win a game and then go from there. As we win, we’re able to (see) more kids buy in and more parents buy in and the community buys in and you’re able to set new goals and standards. The only place we can go is up.”