SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 4, 2012

Witches avoiding buzz, keeping focused

SALEM — What started out as a whisper has since advanced to a hum, and now a buzz.

The hype surrounding the Salem High football team hasn’t yet become a scream, but a win over Lynn Classical tomorrow night at Manning Field (7 p.m.) would help the sound go up a few decibels.

Of course, all of that is just outside noise to the Witches, another distraction that could sidetrack Salem from its current goal.

“Every week there’s just one game on our schedule and this week it’s Lynn Classical,” Salem senior captain Alex Veloukas said. “We have to stay focused.”

It could be easy for Salem to get distracted. Many of these Witches played key roles on last year’s team that went only 1-10. Now, Salem is already 3-1 but this group finds no satisfaction in having tripled the win total in a year.

Two years ago, Salem won its final two games to end the season 6-5, the program’s only winning season since the Witches won a Super Bowl in 1999.

These Witches are intent on never getting complacent, always zeroing in on their current opponent and continuing to move forward.

“We have 11 one-game seasons,” Salem coach Scott Connolly said, echoing the sentiment of Veloukas. “In the (summer) passing leagues we did some good things, but passing league is a passing league. It’s really for us to get team chemistry and there’s no (offensive) line there. We know games are won and lost on the offensive lines. Our line has done very well so far, but this is the only game on our schedule ... and it’s a big one.”

Salem hasn’t defeated Lynn Classical since 2004, and that win is the only one over the Rams in the last 12 seasons. The last three contests were decided by three scores.

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