Greensburg Salem football works through growing pains |

Greensburg Salem football works through growing pains

A record may indicate how a team fared during the season, but it doesn’t tell the complete story.

That was the case for the Greensburg Salem football team this year.

The Golden Lions (3-6, 2-6) finished eighth in the Greater Allegheny Conference but were able to make significant strides in the mission of building a successful and sustainable program.

“The best part of the season was that the kids understand they are good enough to win our conference,” coach Dave Keefer said. “We were in a lot of football games and had an opportunity to win football games. We had an opportunity to go 3-0, but we didn’t do enough to get to that point.

“If anything, our kids have a better understanding on how to compete in our conference. I think we accomplished a lot of things, such as the sense of togetherness and the team aspect of it. We accomplished a lot of things, but people didn’t see it on paper. We look to build on it for next year.”

The biggest win of the season came right out of the gate against perennial playoff qualifier Gateway, which dropped down to Class AAA. The Golden Lions prevailed 9-6 in overtime thanks to a 21-yard field goal by sophomore Ryan Collette.

“It’s daring to say, but I think it might have been too big of a win,” Keefer said. “It might be our Achilles heel since I think we got a little bit complacent and satisfied that we won Week 1. I thought we were in a position to beat Knoch or compete with them. I think it played with our focus, and we want to develop an understanding on how to win.

“You can’t get too high, and you can’t get too low. Obviously, it was a big win. But the fact Gateway has been a dominant team in years past, I think we lost focus. I think that win has a lot to do with the fact the kids have the confidence that they can win in this conference.”

The Golden Lions beat Yough, 27-7, Oct. 3 and nonconference opponent Uniontown, 35-21, Oct. 24 in the final week of the season.

Greensburg Salem will return nine players who started at least one game on defense. The Golden Lions will look for continued growth from junior defender Sean Dean and sophomore Teegan Hahn.

On offense, the Golden Lions will return their leading rusher, junior running back Connor Forkey.

“Expectations are high every year,” Keefer. “We are trying to develop a program where we don’t see a big fluctuation of talent. Sometimes you get those superior groups of kids that come through the program but have a drop off. We have high expectations, and our goal is to make the playoffs. If you clinch a playoff spot from our conference, you have a pretty good chance with making it through the first round of the playoffs.

“We need to double our wins. That is our objective and the expectations, which don’t change. We don’t change the standard from year to year. We set the standard and expectation in practice and in games. We are a better practice team, but we have room for improvement. They are starting to play to end of the bell.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.