Experienced Salem team heading into season with high expectations

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SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Entering the 2021 season, Salem’s expectations are clear.

“Win. Win. Win. Just really, that’s really it,” said senior Blaize Exline.

The Quakers return nine starters on both sides of the ball, including most of their offensive line.

“We have seven guys vying for five positions, but four of them are returning starters. We have 77 starts as an offensive line at this point. So, we have a lot of quality guys up there. The Stockman twins, of course, are both Division I recruits and great football players,” said head coach Ron Johnson.

Junior quarterback and league Player of the Year Jackson Johnson and senior wide out Blaize Exline are also back after their record breaking season. Johnson threw for 2831 yards and 20 touchdowns, while rushing for over a thousand. Exline recorded 1345 receiving yards and 19 scores. The pair hopes their strong relationship will boost their chemistry on the field.

“Me and him, we play a lot. We watch film a lot. We try to know the game and all that. That’s really what we do and try to build off that,” Exline said.

“We’ve been to a bunch of camps together this summer. We played baseball together. I was right beside him much of the time. He was in center. I was over in right, so we were always talking. We just always talk about ball together all the time,” Jackson Johnson said.

Along with Exline, the Quakers have several offensive weapons.

“We play six receivers regularly. Seven receivers when Dillon Monroy gets back. Dillon Monroy was a great player for us last year. He’s injured right now, but we’ll have seven wide receivers rolling in and we got three guys who are going at the running back position who are showing great promise so far,” Ron Johnson said.

Salem’s season gets underway Thursday, August 19 against Crestview.

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