Six starters back for Spartans, but virus interrupts season preparation

South Caldwell senior quarterback Avery Raynor (12) leads the Spartans into the 2021 spring campaign.

South Caldwell returns six starters and 25 lettermen from last season’s playoff team, but the Spartans have one temporary arrival that has proven to be an extremely disruptive force.

The team is under quarantine after a cluster of COVID-19 cases was identified by county health officials, and the Spartans’ Feb. 26 opener against Watauga has been postponed in hopes that a mutually acceptable date opens up for both teams and the game can be played.

On the field, Spartans coach Marc Kirkpatrick has senior quarterback Avery Raynor back under center this season. Joining him in the backfield will be senior running back/defensive back Isaiah Kirby. Steven Reid and JR Boyd return to the Spartans’ offensive line, and they will also see action at linebacker on defense. Senior Cole McCall, a 6-foot-3, 225-pounder, will play tight end and outside linebacker. Senior Triston Adkins will see time as both a running back and a defensive back this season.

Other key returners for the Spartans are junior RB/DB Will Conner and junior receiver/DB Kaleb Icenhour.

Kirkpatrick outlined three newcomers for the Spartans who bring some size to the table. Junior Jaxsen Wilkerson (6’2”, 178 pounds) will play some running back and defensive back for South Caldwell. Junior lineman Christian Hart stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 245 pounds, and senior lineman Justice Kirkpatrick is 6-foot-3, 302 pounds.

If all goes well and the quarantine ends on time, South Caldwell will open its season with a non-conference match-up on March 5 at traditional 3A power Statesville.