Salem football coach John Starr has a number of things to be happy about as the Seminoles get ready for the 2012 season.
First, the Seminoles have a trio of seniors on the line of scrimmage that are expected to be major pieces in 2012, namely offensive linemen Ian Moon and Raseeq Babee, along with defensive end Ryan George.
"(Moon and Babee) made some improvement, really pleasing to see," said Starr, whose about to begin his third season as head man at the Conyers school. "One of the most pleasant things was to see Ryan George really step us his intensity, he did a great job."
Another senior is quarterback Damion Gordon. While the two-sport athlete (he's also a reserve guard on the basketball team), will continue to be under center when the Seminoles open the season against rival Rockdale August 31, Starr said Gordon is willing to play just about anywhere on the field.
"The (big) thing I guess is (Gordon's) willingness to take on the role, he's willing to play receiver, willing to play defensive back," Starr said. "(His) willingness to be a role player in addition to being a quarterback,
that's going to be big for him as well as for us."
While players like Gordon and defensive back/running back Licash Lackey stand out, Starr, who is 9-11 in his first two seasons, knows Salem's dwindling enrollment hurts the depth of the football team.
"We just can't seem to find enough depth at any position, the enrollment is continually going down and we're expecting to compete with schools with 14, fifteen hundred kids and we barely hit over 1,000," said Starr. "Depth is always going to be a concern at Salem. We just have to suck it up and play, keep working and get some guys that can spell (starters) for a little bit and keep playing hard."
Salem hosts rival Rockdale in its season opener August 31.