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Armstrong is leader at Salamanca

Salamanca finished 5-4 in 2017 and qualified for the Class D playoffs. It was the first time since 2014 that the Warriors qualified for the playoffs.

“The kids were excited,” coach Paul Haley said. “At the start of the year, we really wanted to get

into the playoffs, especially after missing for two seasons.”

The Warriors lost in the first round to Chautauqua Lake but returned the following week to beat Cattaraugus for the Class D Chuck Funke Bowl championship.

“It was definitely good for the kids to end the season on a win,”Haley said. “It also got the kids

pumped up to start this season. We got a trophy and the playoff experience helped the younger


Photo Courtesy, Buffalo News

With so many teams moving in Class size this season, the Warriors ended up in a 4-team Class D League. They will play each of their league rivals twice - and then face at least one team a third time in the playoffs.

“We will have already played twice at that point,”Haley said, “so neither team will be able to surprise

each other. It will just be about who can limit mistakes and turnovers.”

Senior Zariah Armstrong and sophomore Lucas McKenna will rotate at the QB position. Having 2 QBs does not

bother Haley. “Each one of those kids does some stuff that I like,” he said. “In my senior year, Coach (George) Whitcher had two QBs. It’s never been an issue for me.”

Haley says that having 2 QBs that can play gives a coach more options.

“If someone gets into a rhythm, that’s who we’ll go with,” Haley said. “We might alternate series or even play-

by-play. Both kids have battled through camp and they are still pretty even right now.”

Armstrong is a solid student who also plays basketball and lacrosse at Salamanca.

“He’s a team captain, ”Haley said. “The kids picked him as a captain so they see him as a team leader. Zariah stepped up this off-season, too. He studied the playbook all summer and came to all the workouts and he’s been a huge help to Lucas.”

Mark Adair

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