Final game of season still important for Salem

CONYERS — Pride and the first step toward building a better team for next season are at stake as Loganville travels to Salem for their 7:30 p.m. game on Friday.

“We just want to go out there and be the best Salem team we can be and not worry about anybody else,” Seminoles head coach John Starr said. “Football is like life and we always want to do the best we can in life. It’s the same way we’re going to approach this game. We’re not concerned about playoffs or anything else.”

Even though the playoffs are out of the picture for the Seminoles (3-6 overall, 2-5 in Region 8-AAAAA play), there is still a lot of reasons to go out and play hard. Besides being the final game in maroon and gold for the seniors, it could also be their last chance to make a good impression on college scouts in hopes of a football scholarship. The juniors on the team need to have a good game to put themselves on the radar to get scholarship interest for next year.

“I tell the sophomores and freshmen to go out and have that big game that will start the recruitment process. So it’s a very meaningful game,” Starr said.

Salem will have to have a solid game on both sides of the ball if they hope to past the Red Devils. With an overall record of 4-5 and 3-5 in the region, Loganville and Salem are about as evenly matched as two teams can be. Like Salem, Loganville is also out of playoff contention and is playing for pride. The Red Devils have a better scoring average by one point, 21-20, but Salem’s defense have held their opponents to one less point than Loganville, 28-27.

The key for Salem to come out ahead is to limit the turnovers and other mistakes. Defensively, they will have to take away Loganville’s top plays forcing them out of their comfort zone. Which will not be easy considering the amount of talented skill players they have and the size of their linemen.

“They have a lot of them. They have a couple of good tight ends, a good quarterback and a tall receiver. They have weapons and all their skill kids are pretty good,” Starr said. “

We have to play sound defense. They’re going to mix it up offensively with the spread. They’ll run it and throw it so we have to play solid defense and not give up the big play. Offensively, we have got to cut down on turnovers. It’s going to be a challenge.”