Salem, Va. – I hesitate to call anything a ‘grudge match’ if you’ve had to wait a year and a half for it to happen. There is a pandemic disconnect to that 2019 season, with this 202 season taking place in the spring of 2021. Nonetheless the team that took Salem out in the state semis in the fall of 2019 returns to Salem on Saturday.
The Spartans entertain 4C region champ 7-0 Tuscarora in this spring season VHSL state semifinal. The last time they played it was a 36-20 Tuscarora decision. But a pandemic, and a lot of team bonding has occurred since that Spartans loss. Coach Don Holter’s Salem team checks in 8-0, and the Class 4D region champs after defeating G.W. Danville. Football aside, the close knit nature of this team appears to be a Spartan strength that cannot be denied.
“I mean it’s just that dynamic of brotherhood. They are committed to one another. Actually they grew closer from these pandemic conditions. They love football, they love each other, they love the program and lot of them haven’t missed work out since July 6,” Holter explained.
“Well, we’ve been working since June I’ve probably last year and everybody’s been putting in a lot of work. It’s made a better bond for everybody on the field, made everybody closer. Everybody’s communicating and like to talk each other. Everybody’s really good friends, we’re all fine with each other,” Salem quarterback Daron Wilson says.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Saturday from Salem Stadium.