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Springport High School’s new football Coach Matt Rohde, center, will count on players Matt Riehle, left, and Race Spurbeck this season.   Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.

By Jeff Steers
JTV Sports

(August 5, 2021 9:54 AM) A familiar face was hired as the new head football coach at Springport High School.

Matt Rohde will replace Matt Schwartzkopf as the head of the football program. Rohde was the defensive coordinator for three years at Springport. 

“Coach Schwartzkopf talked to the coaching staff at the end of June and said he was going to step away for family reasons,” Rohde said.

Springport finished the 2020 season with a 2-6 record. 

Rohde is a lead pastor at a church in Springport.

“We have a high caliber group of seniors on the team,” Rohde said. “It has been hectic, but it will be worth it. 

The cupboard was not empty for the Spartans as they return eight players on offense and eight on defense.

Tim Lightner (OL/DL) and Gage Rohde (WR/CB) were all-conference in the Big Eight Conference a year ago. 

They will be joined by Matt Riehle (QB/LB), Caleb Kregel (WR/QB/DE), Joe Sunkle and Race Spurbeck (RB/FS).

Dylan Sanford returns to the Spartans after a year off. Other newcomers expected to make an impact include Rylinn Hale (LB) and Eli Dyer (K).

Rohde said the Spartans will continue with a spread offense and a 4-4-3 defense. 

Rohde coached for 14 seasons at Olivet High School before coming to Springport. 

“We struggled a bit on the offensive and defensive lines last year,” Rohde said. “We will have to focus on line schemes.”

The Spartans are working out in a shop class because of repairs to the high school gym.

“The shop has a big door and kind of has a real 80s feel to it,” Rohde said. 

Springport has adopted the motto of “all together” for the 2021 season.

“As seniors need to get everyone back together and have a good relationship with the entire team,” senior Race Spurbeck said. 

The Spartans will be challenged with games against Addison and Homer in the first three weeks of the season.

Springport High School

2021 Football Schedule

Aug. 26 Springport at Addison 7 p.m.

Sept. 2 Springport at Bronson 7 p.m.

Sept. 10 Homer at Springport 7 p.m. 

Sept. 17 Napoleon at Springport 7 p.m.

Sept 24 Springport at Jonesville 7 p.m.

Oct. 1 Quincy at Springport 7 p.m.

Oct. 8 Reading at Springport 7 p.m.

Oct. 15 Springport at Union City 7 p.m.

Oct. 22 Big 8/Cascades Conference crossover TBD

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