SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

September 5, 2013

Pingree wants to ratchet up its high-tempo offense

The Pingree football team pushed the tempo with its hurry-up offense last season.

This fall, the Highlanders will look to push it a little bit more.

“We’ll have multiple speeds of our no-huddle offense,” said Pingree head coach Chris Powers. “Traditionally we would get to the line, wait, read the defense and go. Now, we also have like an Oregon style hurry-up where we’ll try to get as many plays off as possible to control the tempo in our favor.”

Speed looks to be plentiful for the Highlanders. Sticking with the Oregon comparison, the Highlanders have their own version of De’Anthony Thomas in tailback and defensive back Johnny Spears, who had a school record 18 touchdowns in just six games last year as a junior.

The Highlanders have even more speed in the backfield with junior Sal Fazio, who got some experience last year as a sophomore. Outside wideouts Justin Assad (a sophomore) and Alex Salalayko (a senior captain) are both burners who saw significant time last season.

“We emphasize it all the time: speed is everything. We put a lot of time into it and making sure we’re physically able to run the up-tempo game,” said Powers.

“Johnny looks great. He worked out all summer and put on some pounds, which will only help him. Sal is just as quick and is built similar, and Assad at 6-foot-4 is one of the fastest guys on our team.”

Senior captain Will Ager anchors an offensive line that returns mostly intact.

The one big position up for grabs is quarterback as senior Rob VanTuyl and sophomore Griffin Beal are battling for the starter’s spot.

“Rob and Griffin are both unique talents but are very different,” said Powers. “Rob is steady and makes all the right decisions, where Griffin is more of a raw athlete who has a lot of talent and probably has some maturity to go through. I don’t think we could go wrong with either one of them.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Student-Athlete 2014
Sports
Local News
  • Salem extends principal search SALEM -- Superintendent Stephen Russell has extended the search for three new principals, arguably the most important personnel decisions he will make in his three years as head of the public schools. Russell is about to hire principals to guide turn

    April 24, 2014

  • 140423_SN_KYU_CROSSWALK A safer place to cross

    PEABODY -- A little more than a year after tragedy struck, the new pedestrian traffic signal in front of St. Adelaide's Parish is installed and operational. "My dad worked his whole life in the service of his community, church and country, and it giv

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • MBTA proposes commuter-rail fee increase SALEM -- The train to Boston is about to get more expensive. Across-the-board fare increases recently proposed by the MBTA would raise the price of single trips on the commuter rail by 25 to 50 cents and the cost of monthly passes from between $10 fo

    April 24, 2014

  • Unrepentant serial drunken driver gets 31/2 to 5 years PEABODY -- Despite what a judge and prosecutor called an attempt to "hijack" the proceedings in his case, a serial drunken driver from Peabody was sentenced to state prison yesterday. Right up to the end, Peter Hurley, 53, was adamant that he'd done

    April 24, 2014

  • pipes1 Sewerage repair delay sparks worry MARBLEHEAD -- Serious concerns are building over delays in the repair of a sewer pipe connecting Marblehead to the South Essex Sewerage District in Salem. The need for replacing the two pipes became apparent in March 2013, when one began to leak int

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos