2022 FFN Preseason Tour: Salem

Salem won 6 games in 2021.
Salem won 6 games in 2021.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 12:41 AM CDT
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SALEM, Ark. (KAIT) - Salem heads into 2022 after a six-win 2021, making it to the 3A Playoffs.

This year, the Greyhounds are bringing in a new offense, longtime Thayer head coach Billy Webber was hired as the offensive coordinator.

Webber stepped down as Thayer head coach after 22 seasons, leading the Bobcats to 173 wins.

“We got a good group of returners coming back, got a bunch of juniors and we’ve had a great two weeks so far, we just got to execute with this group and that’s the big thing,” Head Coach Josh Watson said.

Watson’s crew looks ready to take the next step in the 3A-2.

“I love the intensity,” senior wide receiver and defensive back Ayden Swingle said. “I tried to just get better at route running and everything. And I’ve been trying to work on defense a lot more because I didn’t feel like I was a solid cornerback last year, but I feel like I’ve stepped it up a lot and I feel more confident.”

The Greyhounds return eight starters on the new-look offense while changing up the defense with four returning starters.

“I really think that we’re a lot more physical than last year,” senior wide receiver and defensive back Dalton Steward said. “We’ve got some new guys, but we’ve put in a lot more coverages and I feel like we’ll be alright.”

After falling in the first round of the 3A Playoffs last season, Salem hopes to make it further this year.

“If they execute their potential, it’s through the roof. Everybody’s gonna say Newport, Newport and Newport is really, really good, really, really talented. But I think we have some hardnosed kids. So we’ll see what happens.”

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