SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

July 4, 2014

They Wouldn't Back Down

Stellato hosting celebration at Hawthorne Hotel to celebrate release of his book on the 1994 Salem High football team

When NFL Player Agent Sean Stellato sets out do to something, he goes all out.

So it’s not surprising he has planned a huge gala at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem July 11 to celebrate the release of his book “No Backing Down”, the true story of the 1994 Salem High football team.

This tome is not just a sports story, but also has a strong historical background of the Witch City. Stellato was the quarterback for Salem High in 1994; his team was in the midst of a terrific season when a teacher’s strike in the city threatened to derail the team’s Super Bowl quest.

Stellato’s book includes a myriad of interviews with players, coaches and school administrators who were involved. Head football coach Ken Perrone, a teacher in the Salem system, was ordered to cease coaching his players, but he remained true to his team — and for that reason was fired along with his loyal staff after the Super Bowl.

Stellato went on to have a great college career at Marist and played pro football, but he never forgot that season and what it meant to his teammates. Six years ago Stellato started putting his thoughts on paper, never dreaming the project would take so long to become a reality. He also found a publisher, Mascot Books, he’s very happy with.

“They’ve been fantastic and listened to what I said. The graphic designs in the book are fantastic,” said Stellato.

“I take the reader on a unique tour of the city. In the book there’s a map of Salem, with 17 icons listed of a few spots that have major relevance to the story. I think what makes this book so different is the historic setting in Salem, a place everybody knows about because of the Witchcraft trials and false accusations. So many years later those same type of accusations were made about Coach Perrone.

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