Preview: Senior-laden Salamanca Hopes to Turn Playoff Fortunes
With another senior-laden varsity football squad, Jason Marsh hopes this is the year to end Salamanca’s postseason woes.
Over the last three seasons (two under Marsh), Salamanca posted consecutive 6-1 regular seasons, but lost its first Section 6, Class C playoff game each year.
With 20 returning lettermen, 18 of them seniors, Marsh knows he has a chance for his first playoff win since 2010.
“We’ve had some really great seasons, we’ve won league championships and we’ve bowed out in the first round,” the ninth-year Salamanca head coach said. “That’s not acceptable to us. We know we’ve been a good football team. Our combined record over the past three seasons (19-6) is probably up there in the top of Western New York. But our results haven’t been where they need to be in the playoffs.”
Most recently, the C South runner-up 2013 Warriors (6-2) dropped a home first-round game to Lackawanna, 16-32. Salamanca visits Lackawanna in Week 2, Sept. 12, perhaps looking for vengeance.
But if the 2014 Warriors return to a similar playoff position, Marsh doesn’t plan to harp on the results of previous Salamanca teams.
“That’s part of it, possibly, that pressure,” he said. “We have to realize that if we are fortunate and we get a first-round playoff game, that we have to be loose and that game is like every other game. I think maybe we were a little tight other years and didn’t play up to our capabilities because of that, but I think this group of kids is really motivated to not let that happen to them this year and we expect really great things out of them.”
Marsh (37-34 overall) appears to have to personnel to do it.
The Warriors return six starters — all seniors — at 11 positions, including quarterback Jared Fish and leading rusher Tyler Siperek (621 yards rushing, 169 yards receiving, five total touchdowns).
“You would look to Jared and Tyler and your returning starters as some of your leaders, but we also have some really quality players like Andy Crandall, who missed all year with an injury,” Marsh said. “He was having a fantastic camp last year. He unfortunately broke his leg, but we’re expecting to see big things out of him.
“Jimmie Nye did some fantastic things for us down the stretch last year. Austin Phearsdorf was always our next linebacker in, did everything for us on special teams. A lot of these guys got a lot of minutes, but that whole senior class, we can expect really great things from.”