SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

September 19, 2013

ONE STEP AT A TIME: Peabody focused on little battles, execution

PEABODY — For the moment — and probably for as long as new coach Mark Bettencourt is at the helm — the Peabody High football team is focusing on the little battles.

A lot of eyes were locked on Manning Field last Thursday for the Tanners’ opener against Lynn English, just hoping to catch a glimpse of what to expect from Peabody, which is now playing for its fourth new coaching staff since legendary head coach Ed Nizwantowski was let go after the 2004 season.

Peabody didn’t win and will be looking for its first victory since Thanksgiving of 2011 when it hosts Somerville tomorrow night at Coley Lee Field (7 p.m.). But a positive message was sent to the on-lookers in the Tanners’ 29-15 loss last week.

The Tanners were very much in the game against Lynn English and could have won, but Bettencourt, who has been Peabody’s baseball coach for the past nine years, puts his focus on all the small things that eventually add up to either a win or a loss.

“(Winning) is not even an issue. It’s the same thing I do in baseball; I don’t focus on winning. Winning is a byproduct of execution, bottom line,” Bettencourt said. “You can’t fumble the ball four times or have five or six turnovers. The scoreboard will not read in our favor if we do that. The focus is on what we’re doing. My God, we gave them some great opportunities. A number of times we made some mistakes offensively. If we make a first down we get four more downs. Instead, we had to punt and what happened after is a byproduct of not getting a first down. That’s what we’re trying to explain.”

This is still a learning process for Peabody, but the coaching staff isn’t looking at it like the young Tanners need to learn how to win.

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