Junior high team has strong season
For the Salisbury Junior High football team, the expectations heading into this season were high.
Surrounded by a talented group led by its ninth grade class, the Falcons were looking to build on last season in which they finished 9-1.
And the Falcons didn't disappoint. Highlighted by a dominant season, the Falcons finished the campaign with an 8-1 mark, with one game being cancelled due to Superstorm Sandy. Their only loss came to Southern Lehigh, who finished just above Salisbury in the standings.
"That group is an amazing group," said head coach Tim Weber. "That ninth grade group is a real solid group. They finished 9-1 last year when they were in their eighth grade year. So coming into this year we had the same expectations, if not a little bit better.
"They're really a hard working group. They have good football IQ. They work hard, they play hard and they stick together. And that's what their success comes from."
On a week-to-week basis, the Falcons continuously put together a paramount effort on both sides of the football field. They outscored their opponents 399-44, which also included five shutouts in the nine games played.
"They just continue to evolve year-in and year-out," said Weber. "In the offseason they're inseparable. They live and breathe football. It's really starting to show [and] it's really starting to materialize."
Quarterback Tevon Weber led the Falcon offense in the passing department with 23 total touchdowns (22 passing and 1 rushing). Wide receivers Shane Wittman (12 touchdowns), Mason Donaldson (seven touchdowns) and Adam Miller (six touchdowns) were key contributors to a passing attack that generated roughly 1,800 yards through the air.
Running backs Alex Kubenic (12 touchdowns) and CJ Wittmann (10 touchdowns) paced the ground game that totaled 27 scores and about 2,200 yards on the ground.
"This team doesn't have an individual name identity," said Weber. "It is a solid unit. They know their positions and their IQ at their positions is pretty evolved. Without each other they couldn't do it."
Weber has been with this ninth grade class for about six years now. And although this class had a big part of the team's success, he doesn't want the seventh and eighth graders to go unrecognized.
"We're fortunate enough to have a solid number in that class that's been together for a long time," said Weber. "That's their biggest benefit. We don't have a sprinkle of seven or eight kids. We have 15 or 16 kids [and] out of that we have 10 or 11 that have played together since flag football.
"They have a good group behind them. My eighth grade class is coming off a 130-pound championship last year. So there is a lot of strengths coming between those eighth and ninth classes."
While he will enjoy another successful season, Weber understands the main goal of this level of play - elevating to the high school team in the future.
"I don't want to just individualize their accomplishments when we have a program goal to get to," said Weber. "We have some hard workers up there in that football senior and junior classes that these football sophomores will fit in nicely."
"They already got the foundation," said Weber. "We're running [high school] coach [Andy] Cerco's offense and defense, so language is going to be the same. The things they know now is what they need to know next year. Obviously the speed of the game changes a little bit and the hits are a little harder. They've been successful at every level they've been at so you have to assume they'll be successful at the next."