SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 26, 2012

Unselfish Pierce highly productive for Panthers

(Continued)

Pierce has been a running back since the day he first strapped on pads as a second grader.

Many of his teammates began playing around the same time, which has created and amazing team dynamic.

Beverly captured the Division 3 Super Bowl championship two years ago — with Flaherty and Pierce playing a major role on that team — but this season has been something this group of players has been targeting for a long time.

“We’ve been playing together since the third or fourth grade. We bonded and molded together,” Pierce said. “We all know how each other plays.”

Pierce and the Panthers also know they’ll be in for a tough test against Burlington, but they feel they’ll be in good shape as long as they trust in each other.

Beverly is also playing with the motivation of coming up short in its bid for a playoff berth last season. The Panthers played last year with high expectations, but couldn’t achieve their goals.

“I know Burlington is going to be fast and fly to the ball and be physical. But we have to stay low and block well for each other,” Pierce said. “All through the summer, running and lifting at 6 a.m., this was our motivation.”

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