Spartans reach postseason with best record in 11 years

The last time the Bainbridge football team was this good, many of the Spartan varsity players were in elementary school dreaming about playing under the Friday Night Lights.

That dream is coming true after the BHS 42-0 victory over Kingston, as the Spartans finished off their best season in 11 years.

“The kids are excited for it because it’s the first playoff opportunity since coach Grimm coached,” coach Dan Schoonmaker said. “They have been open to a whole new staff and philosophy and earned the opportunity.”

Although the Spartans qualified for the postseason, they lost their first playoff game against Bonney Lake 35-28 Oct. 31 and were eliminated.

‘We are trying to keep everybody healthy,” Schoonmaker said before the playoffs. “This week is about refocusing. Saturday is usually film but tomorrow we got to put gear on. Contact will be a bit light but we got two practices and a walk-through.”

The Spartans defeated the Bucs on the road thanks to a variety of explosive plays.

“It’s great to have explosive plays but I was really happy with some 14 or 15 plays,” Schoonmaker said. “As an offensive coordinator, I like those more than relying on explosive plays.”

The Spartans did not have to rely on many long drives besides the first one of the game. Bainbridge’s first drive took nearly six minutes and 10 plays. Hugh O’Neill ran for a couple of first downs, and quarterback Jack Grant marched into the endzone with a 10-yard read option.

Kingston’s Camden Singer carried for a couple of first downs but then the Bucs turned it over at midfield.

O’Neill and Luca Dubitzky each picked up 20-yard catches, and the Spartans scored within a couple of minutes.

Adrian Ayling intercepted Kingston’s Kyler Hedstrom’s screen pass attempt and returned it for a touchdown to make it 21-0.

Grant then had a 45-yard TD pass to Dubitzky, and a 12-yard touchdown throw to Calum McCarter.

Noah Weiss earned a 32-yard TD run to end the scoring.

“The mindset for the younger players is opportunities to prove you can play varsity football next year or next week,” Schoomaker said. “Noah had a great game at running back. The little guy was tearing it up.”