8/23 - Warren East
8/30 - at Logan County
9/6 - Greenwood
9/13 - Elizabethtown
9/20 - at Hart County (District)
9/27 - Edmonson County (District)
10/4 - at Daviess County
10/11 - Adair County (District)
10/18 - at Monroe County (District)
10/25 - OPEN
11/1 - at Russellville
I don't necessarily think if they don't win the region they will be a disappointment, but they certainly raised the bar on their expectations last year. The first year of the program the goal was to make the playoffs. Last year it was to host a home playoff game. But they not only got that home playoff game, they got two wins and an appearance in the region final. Through the lens of that progression, the goal jumps to region title, but they'll still have to contend with tough programs like Monroe County, Paducah Tilghman, and Fort Campbell. Paducah Tilghman especially may be interesting depending on the impact any refugees from the former McCracken County schools have on them.
This is the year the Spartans have built towards. This group of seniors started the Spartan program in 2010 when they played only a freshman and JV schedule. They have several three year starters including QB Jay Eblen and DL Adrian Middleton. Middleton has been blowing up on the recruiting scene since last season, receiving offers from Louisville, Kentucky, and Missouri among other schools. At 6'4" and 275 lbs he has tremendous size and will be expected to continue to dominate the defensive side of the ball. The Spartans also have another D1 recruit in two way player Joel Iyiegbuniwe, who has received an offer from WKU. The Spartans definitely have the talent to contend and have the enrollment advantage over their 3A brethren. Had the KHSAA held to their standards on what would cause a team to be realigned at the 2 year mark of this realignment cycle (15% change in male enrollment up or down), the Spartans would be in 4A right now and will almost certainly be 5A in 2015. That will bring them into the orbit of teams like Bowling Green and Warren Central, which should give them some urgency to make their mark now before the going gets a whole lot tougher.
Looking at that schedule, I see 6 games I'd mark as almost definite wins (Logan Co, E-Town, Hart County, Daviess County, Adair County, and Russellville). I expect them to win against Greenwood and Edmonson County as well. They played Warren East very tough last year, and they gave Monroe County a much better game in the region finals than they did in the regular season. Still, it's going to be tough for the Spartans to walk away with either. My guess is South Warren checks in with an 8-2 record, good enough for best in school history.