After a 6-6 season and a second-round playoff exit, Spartanburg is looking to take a step back toward the top of the Region II-5A standings.

The Vikings certainly have the offensive balance and firepower to make it happen.

Spartanburg returns six starters from a year ago, and has a number of impact players in new positions on offense. One of those returners is Moe Wedman, a U.S. Naval Academy commit who had 595 receiving yards a year ago. He’s joined by newcomers Rykem Ferguson and Jamare Benjamin in a group that will give the Vikings a serious downfield threat.

That will make the going a little easier for a talented backfield which includes Kam Robinson, who rushed for 915 yards a year ago, and Mike Wannamaker, Jr.

“I feel like we’ve got a great one-two punch at running back,” Spartanburg head coach Chris Miller said. “It’s tough to plan for all those guys. As a defensive coach, if I was having to prepare for these guys it would be more difficult because of their balance. They have great speed, good hands, and getting them the ball spreads the field. That can really help to open up the run, and when we’re running it well it opens up the pass some for them.”

Wedman said Spartanburg’s backs made it easier for the receivers to have an impact.

“You know you’ve got a great back behind you, whichever one it is, and you get out and make a block for him and he can go 40 yards,” Wedman said. “You don’t have to throw it a hundred times a game. You don’t have to go deep every play. You have those playmakers behind you, and then we can get out and be playmakers, too.”

The Vikings have playmakers on the defensive side of the ball as well, something that Miller wants to take advantage of. His intent is to get back to the attacking style that he’s had so much success with in his coaching career.

“Our main thing is getting people to the ball,” he said. “We want to mix up coverages and schemes, we want guys kind of bouncing around. We’re going to be getting back to some of the things we used to do. We want to create havoc for an offense so they can’t just settle in and be comfortable.”

Miller knows that in a league like Region II-5A, the Vikings are competing with some of the best teams in the state. That’s exactly what he wants Spartanburg to embrace.

“I feel like we’ve got just as much speed as everyone else,” he said. “I feel like we’re very athletic. I think we still have the talent to compete every year if we gel together. We’ll have to have some breaks, and sometimes we’ll have to make our own breaks to win games and get down the road and do what we want to do. But you talk about teams like Dorman and Gaffney with 17 starters back and 18 starters back, both in the state semifinals, that’s our region. That’s how it is every year. We’re up for that challenge, and we want to get back to the top.”

Miller said to do that, Spartanburg’s older players must learn to lead quickly.

“They understand,” he said. “They’ve played the schedule. What I want is for them to help make the other guys understand that you’ve got to play day in and day out in this region. You can’t take anybody lightly. We’ve got to play our best every time we go out there, and our guys have to know that.”