The Spartans, who have won two straight and three of the last four league championships, will visit the Cumberland County Wolfpack in Amherst, N.S.
"We have developed a strong program here with our flag and atom tackle programs, and that has really helped feed our bantam team," commented Spartans head coach John Turner. "There is a huge learning curve with football, but with our other programs that curve is not as steep as other communities . . .
“However, that doesn't mean we can just show up to games and continue to win. The players need to be committed to practices and buy into the team concept.”
The Spartans will have a roster of 35 players this season, including 15 returnees.
Last year's back-up quarterback, Charlie DesRoches, will lead the offence.
"It doesn't matter what level of football it is, you need solid quarterback play if you are going to have any success moving the chains,” offered Turner. “Charlie has played the position for two years in atom and last year, so we feel very confident we will be able to move the ball.”
Summerside has also added a couple of speedy receivers and running backs to go along with their solid offensive line of Luke Trainor, Andrew Gunning and Justin Larson.
"You’re only as good as your offensive line, and we have a veteran unit that are all about six-feet tall and 230 pounds, which will really help our running back and pass protection."
Defensively, the Spartans return seven starters in a new 10-man game this season. Most games will be 10 man this year, provided each team has enough players.
"Its great to get more players on the field as the experience is so valuable,” added Turner. “Our P.E.I. league has come a long way in five years from six-man football, where we were begging kids to play, to now with rosters of 25 to 35 players.”
The Spartans’ home opener is Sept. 11 at 5 p.m., and it’s being deemed "Football Frenzy at the Turf."
The Spartans and Varsity Clippers will host back-to-back games against the Charlottetown Privateers, and then the lights will go out at Eric Johnston Field and the teams will host an outdoor teen dance at the field. The teams are raising money for a blocking sled and a public address system.