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The Lions of Spring High School have enjoyed lots of success over the last three football seasons. Last year’s 9-3 record and second-round playoff appearance followed a pair of seasons where they went three and four rounds deep.

Spring was loaded on offense last year, and its defense was stingy. The Lions averaged 31 points a game and the defense allowed about 17 a game — against some pretty good teams.

The only non-district loss was to 6A state runner-up The Woodlands, and the only loss in District 16-6A was to rival Westfield, which made it to the state quarterfinals.

Spring finished the regular season with six consecutive wins, and then beat a good Klein team, 19-7, in the bi-district round. The Lions then lost to a talented Austin Bowie squad that fell to The Woodlands the following week.

Spring senior quarterback Eric Spencer was the district’s offensive player of the year, and the program loses lots of skill position players from 2016.

Key Losses

QB Eric Spencer, RB Jacoby Finley, WR Deonta Adams

Eric Spencer was the District 16-6A Offensive MVP after passing for 1,905 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading the team in rushing with 961 yards and seven touchdowns.

Finley churned out 901 rushing yards and nine touchdowns at 10 yards per carry, and he averaged 13 yards per catch. Adams was a first-team all-district selection.

Key Returners

DE Willie Smith OL Nathan Williams, WR Marques Pearson

Williams made first-team all-district as a junior, helping pave the way for an offense that cranked out more than 300 yards a game.

Pearson caught 20 passes for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns and carried the ball 152 yards as a sophomore.

Willie Smith was the top defensive end in the district last year as a junior.

The Verdict

It’s hard to replace guys like Spencer, Adams and Finley on offense, but programs like Spring have lots of players to choose from in the reloading process. The Lions will need a good offseason and fall camp to fill those shoes departing on defense, and having a player like Willie Smith to lead the defense is always a good thing.

The 2017 season starts at Clear Falls before The Woodlands comes calling in Week 2. After a trip to Fort Bend Hightower the following week, Spring will host nemesis Westfield, a game that decided last year’s district championship.

Spring might have lost a big chunk of talent, but they should have no problem making the playoffs a fourth straight year.

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