Spartanburg sports unique drill and opponent

Vikings hosts ranked Georgia team for Game of the Week
The high school football season is sprinkled with must see matchups for every school and Spartanburg has had a few big ones to open the season.
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 6:12 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Spartanburg is getting set to host Grayson from Loganville, GA, the 9th-best football team in the state, according to Sports Illustrated, and the Vikings are using a unique drill as part of their preparation.

The drill is straight out of the American Gladiators playbook and involves one player trying to dunk a ball into a trash can and the other player trying to stop him. When FOX Carolina suggested it was a ‘fun’ drill, head coach Mark Hodge provided a coaching lesson.

“It’s really not fun and more loose, it’s just a different drill,” Hodge said. “At the end of the day, that’s a technique we have to do in the game. And it’s just coaching being creative to figure out ways to actually do that in small group settings.”

Even though Spartanburg senior free safety Demario Bookhart doesn’t participate in the American Gladiators type drill, he sees the purpose in it for the running backs.

“It definitely brings us together,” Bookhart said. “I feel like as a team, you always want to have good spirit. Stuff like that bringing us together, making us laugh, I feel like that’s something great that every team should do.”

This matchup is a unique game for Spartanburg because they’re hosting an out-of-state team. Coach Hodge explained how that happened.

“Some of it’s a problem with our high school league not scheduling. We’ve only got four region games, which shouldn’t be the case,” Hodge said. “So we had to go hunt people to play. It was hard to fill a schedule, and in order to do that, we had to look out of state. We want to play the best we can to hopefully develop us. So that’s how we ended up playing Grayson.”

Spartanburg is coming off back-to-back impressive wins. Two weeks ago, they beat the storied program Dutch Fork, and last Friday, they beat Broome by just one point in front of their home Spartanburg crowd.

With a 2-1 record heading into FOX Carolina’s Game of the Week, Bookhart is confident in his team. However, he’s especially confident in the defense he helps lead.

“We know they’re a good team, but teams got to play Spartanburg. We ain’t playing them, they’re playing us,” Bookhard said. “So we don’t really care who we play, we know they’re ranked. We know it’s going to be a tough game. We just have to get the job done, lock in and prepare.”

Coach Hodge said his message to the team is one of sustained success as they hit the middle of the season.

“Right now is a time when you can’t get tired of working because you’re kind of in that stretch of games that really don’t count toward the region or count toward playoffs,” Hodge said. “So you have to keep working even though it’s really a prep game.”

The Vikings will try to make it three wins in a row on Friday, hosting Grayson in our Game of the Week.

FOX Carolina’s Tailgate Tour continues and will show off the fun festivities at Spartanburg during the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts before presenting the highlights during the 10 p.m. newscast.