It’s early in the week, but after last Friday’s performance against Palisades, one message is being preached around the locker room at Salisbury High School.
“After watching film with them, there were plays in the game where we were doing what we were supposed to and things were successful,” football head coach Andy Cerco said. “It’s just focusing on being more consistent. They believe in each other. The coaches believe in the fact that they can come out and play. We just have to get to the point where we’re consistent.”
The Salisbury girls tennis team recently capped a successful regular season. League victories over Notre Dame (Green Pond) on back-to-back days brought Salisbury’s Colonial League record to 11-5. To put that into perspective, that was three wins less than the prior three years combined.
But the Lady Falcons’ success didn’t stop when the regular season ended. When last week’s Colonial League flighted tournament completed, Salisbury saw a number of its players finish among the top.
If everything fell into place and senior Ryan Slutsky played his best, he hoped to compete for Monday’s Colonial League individual golf championship or at least put in a top-five finish.
Placing in the top five league competitors would have automatically qualified him for the district tournament in October, exempting him from the stressful district qualifying round.
However, Slutsky’s round didn’t go exactly as he planned Monday at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course.
Things are starting to change around the Colonial League. At least that’s what it seems like.
Salisbury girls soccer head coach took over the program back in 2012. In his first four years, the Lady Falcons had not been fortunate enough to beat Northwestern, a perennial league contender. The two teams never even played to a draw in that timespan.
A win is a win, and a loss is a loss at the end of the day. But sometimes a loss can have a positive effect on a team.
Take last Friday night for example. When Salisbury hosted unbeaten Notre Dame (Green Pond), one of the Colonial League’s top teams and a highly-ranked squad in the state, not many expected the host Falcons to come out with a win.
Salisbury head coach Andy Cerco knows wins can be tough to come by in the Colonial League, especially with a young group of players. The foreseeable future might be Salisbury’s toughest stretch of the entire 2016 football season.
That upcoming gauntlet begins with a meeting against Notre Dame (Green Pond), one of two undefeated teams left in the Colonial League. After it hosts those Crusaders on Friday night at 7 p.m., the Falcons must travel up to Palisades, another offense that can put up points in a hurry, in two weeks.
It’s not the be-all and end-all for deciding the outcome of a football game, but the turnover battle often goes a long way in deciding the winner and loser. Salisbury found out the hard way what it’s like to be on the wrong side of the turnover margin last week
Salisbury (2-2) committed three turnovers against Bangor, all which hurt the visiting Falcons mightily on Friday night. A turnover on their opening drive gave Bangor a quick 7-0 lead, and an interception in the final moments sealed a 34-31 for the Slaters (1-3).
The first 30 minutes of play against Northwestern must’ve been just what Salisbury field hockey head coach Meredith Makhoul had drawn up. The Lady Falcons were playing lockdown defense, the offense was generating solid looks on goal, and the two sides went into halftime tied 0-0.
But as good as Salisbury looked in the first half of play, the second half was a different story for Makhoul’s team.
Saturday football games aren’t a common occurrence for most high school teams, especially for Salisbury.
Last year’s lone Saturday game for the Falcons against Pen Argyl resulted in a 35-14 victory for the boys in blue and white. That game was played in rainy and cold conditions. Fast-forward to last Saturday, Week 3 of the Colonial League schedule, and the weather conditions were the exact opposite. But the hot, humid temperatures didn’t seem to have a big impact on the Falcons.
The 2016 season got off to a great start for the Salisbury field hockey team. In the opener, the Lady Falcons earned a 3-2 overtime victory against Bethlehem Catholic thanks to two goals by Isabella Martinez, including the game-winner in overtime.
But since that Sept. 3 contest on the Lady Falcons’ home turf, goals have been hard to come by for Salisbury. The Lady Falcons were held scoreless in their next three games, all Colonial League contests, to fall to 1-3 on the young season.