Ken Sparks, presser pre-Lenoir-Rhyne

Opening Statement on L-R: L-R is an interesting football team right now. They've looked really good against Tusculum, but not very good last week. I don't know, there in transition time, they got players, there capable. I know he's a great football coach and has a great coaching staff, so it makes you really nervous. They'll give us a challenge cause there LR, they've been a good football team and have beaten us four in a row. We need to play well against them.


Question 1: They have a Freshman running back named Nelson Brown who has the 7th highest rushing total in DII, they call him the bus, what makes him bus like?

Sparks: Well he's big, strong, and fast, which makes a good football player. He's dangerous, very dangerous. Didn't know he's seventh in the nation he's doing something right.

Question 2: Four straight loses, how do you make sure that doesn't weigh on the teams mind?

Sparks: We can't live in the past, we have to go with who we are right now. This is a different and some of those players who have been through it know that we got beat on our mistakes towards the end of the game and so we just got to play the game.

Question 3: What is the hallmark of coach Keller's first year as he tries to transition from a triple option to the spread?

Sparks: I think it's the same thing anytime there is a coaching change. There are a lot of adjustments in a lot of different areas, from communicating with the team, to how you approach the game preparation. It's a transition period where it will get better every week for them. The thing that concern's us is that, is this the week they get a whole lot better. We hope to line up and play our game and not worry too much about them. We got to get ready to play.

Question 4: You made some steps against Mars Hill, what's the next step for this program moving forward?

Sparks: It's like everybody else, improvement in blocking and tackling. Better urgency, better 11-people doing their job every play. We went through 3 games where I'm not sure all eleven people did their job. Now we had some this week, but not enough. Still had 12 missed tackles, and did not grade out offensively. So we still got a long way to go. We're still trying to figure out who we are as a team.

Question 5: With 4-interceptions last week, how do you think the dynamic of the defensive backfield is progressing with two freshman and two seniors in the starting lineup?

Sparks: We're making some progress, we made lead the nation the wrong way there for three weeks straight with one turnover in three ball games. Then last week we come out with four interceptions and that was tremendous and helpful, thank you Lord. The fact that two were by freshman and the other two were by seniors is kind of interesting. It's an interesting combination we got back there.

Question 6: How do you think you are doing distributing the ball to all of the talent on the outside?

Sparks: We're not throwing it for enough percentage points, we're dropping some passes, and running some wrong patterns. On Saturday, we got two completions off of miss execution, but that's not going to work. You're going to get what you work for and we got to continue to improve in those areas. Hopefully we will improve, but we like our wide receivers, we think they are a talented group and we got some speed there.

Question 7: What can you say about Austin Lewis as a senior leader?

Sparks: Austin Lewis is a special person and has overcome a lot of things to become a good football player. Had not played well until about last week. We snapped the ball 110 times last week, which is un heard of. Austin got a little weak towards the end there. Austin is a man of character, and will find a way to get it done.

Question 8: What does coach Tony Lerulli bring to this staff?

Sparks: He's a guy for years that has had to see the big picture. He was a head coach, and so he helps me with his head coaching perspective. It's fun to see how the Lord has worked in Tony's life. He's still fun to be around as a coach. He really needs to be a head coach at some place, that's the kind of talent that he has.

Question 9: What challenges are there with the quarterback being the coach's son?

Sparks: Well probably has a good background of being a coach on the field. A coach on the field is especially fun at Quarterback. So I'm sure that's a plus for the head coach.

Question 10: Defensively they run a 4-2-5 what do you do about that offensively?

Sparks: It really doesn't matter what you call your defense. They'll have some different looks, but similar to some other teams we've faced. Will just have to adjust as we go.    
Sparks to be honored Dec. 3
November 22, 2016 Sparks to be honored Dec. 3
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