“Many of these guys played for Peabody, and many of them have rings,” said Bettencourt, who was inundated with text messages offering congratulations and help yesterday. “That’s important to me and I want to bring that family atmosphere that Peabody always had.”
As for a coaching philosophy, Bettencourt plans to lean on the running game. He will emphasize fundamentals and technique, especially on the offensive and defensive lines.
“It’s a hard-nosed town and we’re going to play hard-nosed ball,” he said. “My uncles played for Arthur Adamopoulos and he ran the same offense for 20 years. Niz added some wrinkles and had success with it for 20 more years. We want to follow in those footsteps.”
Peabody was hampered by youth and tumult throughout last season. A roster filled with promising sophomores like Ryan Collins, Mike Raymond and Tanner Moquin struggled at the varsity level and began 0-5 before Wlasuk resigned. The team didn’t hold a lead all season and set a school record for points allowed while being outscored 420-78.
The football program, once the most successful on the North Shore, has fallen on hard times since Nizwantowski (175-59-4 from 1982-2004) was ousted eight years ago. The Tanners were 6-25 under Paul Uva (2005-06) and Dick Woodbury (2007); Wlasuk then went 17-31 in 4 1/2 seasons, including a promising 10-11 mark in 2010-11.
“I look at all the time, the heart and the soul that Scott poured into this program, and I told him yesterday that I won’t let that work go to waste. No way,” Bettencourt said. “I think there have been some positive steps the last few years that we can build on.”
Hard work is the only way to ensure success, Bettencourt said. He emphasized that the Tanners’ preseason training camp this August will be essential to the team’s success, and much like his successful baseball program, he will emphasize practicing the way you play and accountability.