By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The family environment that Gary Johnson has instill with the Salem Academy Football program since his arrival goes behind what they have done on the field.
Following their win over Gervais Friday night, Johnson gives his players, his coaches, and the Salem Academy family the floor to recognize those who had a great game or performed well and then give them three-claps of applause.
“He just created a family atmosphere here and he really took in what the skills we have and use them to the best of our abilities,” said Jacob Haller. “He just put guys into places to make plays and he just brought a whole new fun and enjoyable atmosphere and everybody has joined in.”
This fun and enjoyable atmosphere can’t be denied, and it’s brought this family together since the get-go.
Sitting at 3-1 in the PacWest Conference and 4-2 overall the Boys from Lancaster are once again riding high once more as they look to continue to battle for the Conference Title in 2016 and make a run at the State Title.
“As of right now we’re sitting pretty good, looking at a potential home game for playoffs if everything pulls out our way” said Hunter BeDoya.
The Crusaders had big wins versus Blanchet Catholic (14-10) to start league and versus Klamath Union (39-20) in the preseason and picked up wins over the Cougars and Chemawa since has built confidence within this team entering the second half of the season with the playoffs approaching.
The lone loss came to Scio, but confidence is there for Salem Academy as they finish the season versus Sheridan, Jefferson and Colton as the Crusaders continue to build off of this rich foundation they already have.
“I think we just got to keep going,” said Haller. “As we’re going, not much to change. Fix the little things, here and there and keep coming out with a lot of energy, each week building each other up including the young and we keep going forward for the next few games.”
BeDoya is relatively a man of few words said it best as well when asked how they can continue this trajectory that his team is currently on.
“We just got to keep pounding,” the senior said with a smile.
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