It is 6:51 P.M. and the final practice of the season has been over for an hour, but the football field isn’t empty. Out in the middle of the Southern Durham football field is Spartan’s head coach Darius Robinson meticulously painting the team logo one last time. “All I can think about is seeing my players’ faces when they see the logo before game time,” says Coach Robinson with a smile on his face.

The Southern Durham Spartans season ran from August through November 2018. During that time the team only had one goal in mind, to make the playoffs after failing to do so the previous year. The school had a long history of not only making it to the playoffs, but winning them. This drive and resilience to meet this one common goal, made this team of high school students, more like brothers.

 
Southern Durham junior linebacker Jaki Brevard raises the team axe before the Spartan's game against Orange High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The team captain usually carries the axe before games.

Southern Durham junior linebacker Jaki Brevard raises the team axe before the Spartan's game against Orange High School in Hillsborough, North Carolina. The team captain usually carries the axe before games.

Southern Spartan head coach Darius Robinson prays with his players before the team's game against Cardinal Gibbons. During a pre-game pep talk with his players, Head Coach Robinson asked his players if they knew why they prayed... "We pray before games because of all the sins we are about to commit on this field."

Southern Spartan head coach Darius Robinson prays with his players before the team's game against Cardinal Gibbons. During a pre-game pep talk with his players, Head Coach Robinson asked his players if they knew why they prayed... "We pray before games because of all the sins we are about to commit on this field."

Southern Durham senior wide receiver Jaylen Lloyd watches on as the Spartans trail Cardinal Gibbons in the second game of the season. Lloyd would go on to have a productive season despite various injuries throughout.

Southern Durham senior wide receiver Jaylen Lloyd watches on as the Spartans trail Cardinal Gibbons in the second game of the season. Lloyd would go on to have a productive season despite various injuries throughout.

Southern Durham head coach Darius Robinson addresses his team after a big win against the the No. 4 team, Seventy-First High School. The Spartans scored nine points in the final 78 seconds of the game to finish the upset, 36-32.

Southern Durham head coach Darius Robinson addresses his team after a big win against the the No. 4 team, Seventy-First High School. The Spartans scored nine points in the final 78 seconds of the game to finish the upset, 36-32.

Southern Durham assistant coach Chris Smith celebrates with linebacker Jakhari Dowd (33) after a big play against Cardinal Gibbons High School. The Spartans had 18 coaches on staff this year, mostly comprised of past players that want to give back to their high school team.

Southern Durham assistant coach Chris Smith celebrates with linebacker Jakhari Dowd (33) after a big play against Cardinal Gibbons High School. The Spartans had 18 coaches on staff this year, mostly comprised of past players that want to give back to their high school team.

Southern Spartans head coach Darius Robinson celebrates with his players after an  upset win  against the No. 4 team in the region, Seventy-First High School.

Southern Spartans head coach Darius Robinson celebrates with his players after an upset win against the No. 4 team in the region, Seventy-First High School.

From left, Southern Durham players Curtis Justice, Deshawn Harris, and Zyon Johnson, celebrate an upset win against the No. 4 team in the region, Seventy-First High School.

From left, Southern Durham players Curtis Justice, Deshawn Harris, and Zyon Johnson, celebrate an upset win against the No. 4 team in the region, Seventy-First High School.

Southern Durham football players relax before an away game. The Spartans usually stayed on the team bus until they had to start warming up. Many schools in the area did not have visitor locker rooms.

Southern Durham football players relax before an away game. The Spartans usually stayed on the team bus until they had to start warming up. Many schools in the area did not have visitor locker rooms.

Southern Durham freshman kicker John Paulino warms up before the team's game against Southern Alamance. Despite being heavy favorites, the Spartans would go on to lose the game 29-7.

Southern Durham freshman kicker John Paulino warms up before the team's game against Southern Alamance. Despite being heavy favorites, the Spartans would go on to lose the game 29-7.

Hurricane Florence forced schools in the Triangle area to  move up their Friday night games  to Wednesday. This means that teams only had two days to prepare for their upcoming game.

Hurricane Florence forced schools in the Triangle area to move up their Friday night games to Wednesday. This means that teams only had two days to prepare for their upcoming game.

Southern Durham players take a quick nap before their game. During home game days, players usually have a team meal and then hangout in head coach Robinson's room before the game.

Southern Durham players take a quick nap before their game. During home game days, players usually have a team meal and then hangout in head coach Robinson's room before the game.

Southern Durham senior running back Kevin Pierce Jr. straps on his shoulder pads before the game.

Southern Durham senior running back Kevin Pierce Jr. straps on his shoulder pads before the game.

Southern Durham senior wide receiver Jaylen Lloyd is consoled by senior running back Taron Beauford (1) and teammates after a tough loss.

Southern Durham senior wide receiver Jaylen Lloyd is consoled by senior running back Taron Beauford (1) and teammates after a tough loss.

Southern Durham football defensive coordinator Norris McCleary reviews the game-plan with his defense before the game. Coach McCleary, who played in the NFL for three seasons, now volunteers his time during the high school football season.

Southern Durham football defensive coordinator Norris McCleary reviews the game-plan with his defense before the game. Coach McCleary, who played in the NFL for three seasons, now volunteers his time during the high school football season.

Southern Durham players Lavar Houze (46) and Cinsere Clark (14) dance during the team's homecoming pep-rally at school.

Southern Durham players Lavar Houze (46) and Cinsere Clark (14) dance during the team's homecoming pep-rally at school.

The Southern Durham Spartans play against Orange High School. The Spartans lost the game 27-17 and it ultimately cost them a spot in the playoffs. Despite Southern Durham (5-6) having a better record than Orange (3-8) at the end of the season, all three wins for Orange were inside the conference.

The Southern Durham Spartans play against Orange High School. The Spartans lost the game 27-17 and it ultimately cost them a spot in the playoffs. Despite Southern Durham (5-6) having a better record than Orange (3-8) at the end of the season, all three wins for Orange were inside the conference.

Teammates console senior linebacker Aaron James after a loss. James embraced his teammates saying "you all are my family, I love y'all."

Teammates console senior linebacker Aaron James after a loss. James embraced his teammates saying "you all are my family, I love y'all."

Southern Durham senior captains walk to the center of the field for the coin toss. The Spartans won their second-to-last game against East Chapel Hill, 42-7.

Southern Durham senior captains walk to the center of the field for the coin toss. The Spartans won their second-to-last game against East Chapel Hill, 42-7.