SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

September 5, 2013

Bettencourt, Peabody getting back to basics

Mark Bettencourt has a big job ahead of him as he begins his first season as the Peabody High football head coach.

Coming off an 0-10 campaign, the Tanners haven’t had a winning season since 2004. Peabody surrendered 420 points last fall, most in program history, and managed to score just 78.

Bettencourt is starting from the bottom, focusing on attitude, commitment and fundamentals first. The coaching staff remains optimistic; his five assistant coaches were all part of Peabody’s glorious past.

Dave Bettencourt, Mark’s uncle, and Jimmy Festa will be running the defense with the help of Mark Falco, while Bob Murphy and Matt O’Brien, Peabody’s interim coach last year when former head coach Scott Wlasuk resigned in midseason, will handle the offense.

“There’s a lot of respect there; that makes the practices flow. They all know the task we have. We’re trying to see what needs to be fixed and make corrections,” Bettencourt said. “That’s why I hired these guys; everyone has been in that locker room and been on this field. I wanted to surround myself with people who have been there and done that.”

Many of Bettencourt’s players this season have “been there”, in terms of time spent on the field. It’s the “done that” (i.e., winning) that has yet to happen for this group.

A year ago, Wlasuk welcomed back exactly 2 yards of offense. Now, Bettencourt at least has the luxury of having nearly all the Tanners’ production back this season.

Peabody’s top five runners — Billy Teehan (167 yards), Cody Wlasuk (163), Ryan Collins (124), Michael Raymond (116), and Tanner Moquin (41) — are all back this fall. Raymond (14 rec., 282 yards), Collins (16 rec., 173 yards) and Moquin (10 rec., 133 yards) were also the team’s most productive receivers.

Raymond, a junior, had some of the most interesting stats on the North Shore last year. In addition to being among Peabody’s leaders in rushing and receiving, he also took over the quarterback job in midseason and threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns. Raymond is the front-runner to start at quarterback this season.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Student-Athlete 2014
Sports
Local News
  • 140765_SN_DLE_FESSENDEN4 Special Spaces transforms two downstairs rooms into playroom for Riley Fessenden

    BEVERLY -- What happens when the perfect kid-friendly playroom appears in your house overnight? Beverly's Fessenden kids were mostly speechless when they returned from seeing "The Little Mermaid" on Saturday and got their first look at the playroom t

    July 28, 2014 10 Photos

  • Beverly Hospital courier loses patients’ lab forms

    BEVERLY -- A courier for Beverly Hospital last month lost lab request forms for 54 patients that included names, health insurance identification numbers and, in some cases, Social Security numbers. The courier misplaced the forms, which were in a zip

    July 28, 2014

  • Big plans for three parks in the Point neighborhood SALEM -- One will be overhauled, another created from scratch, and a third will get a spiffed-up community garden. It's a good time to be a park in the Point neighborhood. The densely packed area just south of the city's downtown is on the verge of i

    July 28, 2014

  • Peabody could see school choice profit next year PEABODY -- After three years, the city's schools are projected not only to break even on school choice, but actually make a $30,000 profit. School officials expect to lose just under $300,000 in state aid next year for students who opt to attend scho

    July 28, 2014

  • 140723_SN_DLE_SALVARMY2 Dennis and Susan Knight take over Salem Salvation Army operation

    SALEM -- It was Christmas Eve in Sanford, Maine, but 8-year-old Dennis Knight and his three sisters had good reason to be short on holiday spirit: Their mom and dad had warned them there would be no Christmas that year. The family couldn't afford it.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos