By Luke Wiggs
MARTINSBURG, W.Va — A 2-5 finish to the 2021 season saw Spring Mills snap a streak of 6 consecutive postseason appearances.
17 seniors depart last year’s Cardinals squad, including quarterback Bernard Newman Jr. but a healthy stable of skill position players remain.
One of those is sophomore quarterback Max Anderson who earned some playing time due to injury last season.
“He definitely got some reps and was composed last year with it.” Said 3rd-year head coach Josh Simms. “He really didn’t miss a beat for a kid that age. You almost look at him at this point like he’s a veteran.”
The spotlight was also stolen last season by freshman Keyon Mills who racked up over 1,000 all-purpose yards.
“Keyon was originally playing in the slot,” said coach Simms. “We moved him to running back last year to try things out and he did pretty well. This year we’ll probably move him back to his more natural position which is receiver.”
Junior Alex Eaton figures to be the primary carrier in the backfield as Mills moves back to a deep core of pass catchers. He joins Tristan Davis, Jason Shriner, Zach Bender, and senior Isaiah Gano as Cardinals who can see targets in the offense this year.
The biggest question mark for Spring Mills will be the offensive line after losing all five starters from last year. Simms will have to turn to new faces to help protect his sophomore signal-caller.
Defense proves to be a unique challenge with the Cardinals having good depth at many positions.
“We have some good problems to have right now with a lot of talent running around at your corners and safety positions.” Simms said. “So we may be able to get some guys going one way, which obviously helps with durability.”
Spring Mills begins their 10th season as a program on August 26th taking on the Musselman Applemen.