NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The second round of high school football playoffs start Friday night and one of the finalists is an unlikely team.
The Stratford High School Spartans have lost a lot of football games over the last decade, but it’s a magical season for the Inglewood school.
“Last year, players would just give up,” said quarterback Josh Truehart. “’I don’t want to do this’ or ‘I don’t want to do that.’ But this year, we got people who want to play football and commit to it.”
The Spartans are 8-3, a complete turnaround from the last 10 years or so.
Trueheart added, “Everything has changed. Our mentality has changed. Our attitudes have changed. We’re all becoming better people than last year.”
A big part of the success is due to Coach Maurice Fitzgerald. It’s his first year at Stratford, but he’s a legend in Nashville sports.
He won back-to-back state championships at Pearl-Cohn in the 90s.
“They just kind of bought into what we’ve been doing, what we’ve been preaching, and have come together and got on a little run,” Fitzgeralnd told News 2.
This playoff run might end Friday night, but it might not. Either way, the coach is proud.
“I would have been proud of them either way, but especially now. Some of them have never experienced this, getting into the playoffs, so this certainly something that they’ll remember the rest of their lives,” Coach Fitzgerald said.
But the Spartans are hoping to keep the magic alive, one game at a time.