Team of the Week: Charlotte off to fast and historic start

Team of the week

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (WLNS) – In year three under Mike Sparks, the Charlotte football team has won three games in a row for the first time since 2013.

Or in other words, “It was 2,575 days since the Charlotte football program had won three in a row,” Sparks said at practice on Thursday.

Charlotte senior quarterback, Charlie Grant said, “Our offensive coordinator made it clear to us every day that that’s how many days it’s been since we’ve won three in a row. We wanted to go get it, so we had a good week of practice last week.”

“That good week of practice has led the Orioles to a 3-0 record for the first time since 2004. Charlotte went 11-1 that season with its only loss coming in the state semifinal. The Orioles are looking to get back to that mark this season, and the plan is to do it with speed.

“We decided we would look at an offensive that would give us an opportunity to put the ball in our skill players’ hands, in open spaces,” Sparks said. “With the speed training they’ve done and the weight lifting they’ve done, they broke a couple of tackles, and what would ordinarily be a 10-15 yard play, ends up being big, long scores.”

The speed and agility the Orioles have this season has led to them putting up over 40 points in every game this year. In fact, in Week 3 against its rival Eaton Rapids, Charlotte put up 62 points, which is the most it has scored since 2011. The high-powered offense the Orioles has put on display this is season is due to coach Sparks’ need for speed.

“Since I took the program over, we’ve run a speed and agility prep almost every single day for the last three seasons,” Sparks said. “We’ve run these guys and taught them how to run well. Getting them the ball in space has been a part of our MO and our game plan all along.”

“Growing up and doing a lot of that training, it made me a lot more mobile, more explosive, be able to cut and juke, and make a lot more moves on the field,” Charlotte senior running back and linebacker, Ben Stambaugh said.

Grant said, “We’re all committed to winning, and we knew we had something special, talent-wise. We knew that if we could just work then we could achieve it.”

Charlotte will look to improve to 4-0 this Friday at Ionia.

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