SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

November 29, 2012

Beverly football notebook: Offseason training has paid off handsomely for Panthers this fall

While the Beverly High football team has turned its entire focus on Natick in anticipation of their Division 2A Super Bowl matchup Saturday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough (3:30 p.m.), we’re not ready to do so just yet.

Let us take a look back at some of the many news, notes and nuggets that have transpired over the previous dozen games and how the Panthers found themselves playing for a state title for the second time in three seasons:

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It can’t be a coincidence.

For the umpteenth time this fall, Beverly’s offensive and defensive lines wore down their opponents en route to victory in Tuesday’s Division 2A semifinal win over Burlington. Usually smaller but quicker and better at getting leverage on their foes, the Panthers have stayed fresh in the trenches while the guys in the other colored jerseys get winded. Subsequently, the holes open up for Beverly to run through (offensively) and attack through (defensively).

A large part of that has to be attributed to the team’s year-round dedication for assistant coach Ben Goodhue’s weight training program. Grueling and unforgiving but one that apparently pays huge dividends, the Panthers are reaping the benefits for all those days weightlifting in a non-heated clubhouse in the middle of the winter or sweating it out in the dog days of summer without anything to cool them down.

As the saying goes, pain is nothing but weakness leaving the body. The Panthers can attest to that.

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Here’s an impressive stat: the Panthers have held opponents scoreless in two-thirds of the quarters they’ve played in 2012, keeping teams off the scoreboard in 32 of 48 total periods. The only club to score more than one touchdown in a single quarter against them came on Thanksgiving Day, when Salem punched in two fourth quarter scores.

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