SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) Well, if we learned one thing last Friday, it's to never count out the Salem Spartans. The team was down 11 points to start the 4th quarter against Blacksburg, but when all was said it done, the Spartans were on top 33-32, heading to the state semis for a 6th year in a row.
Stephen Magenbauer, Salem Head Coach: "I mean, it's special, it is. I think high school football's the greatest game that was ever around, and to be playing in December, it means you've done something special. So hopefully we can keep it going."
Nick Wade, Salem Senior Free Safety: "Everyone came in on Monday wanting to talk about it. Obviously, you want to talk after they beat you 49-12, but we kind of knew we had to regroup, and enjoy that weekend and come back this week and work. So that was the best feeling, knowing that we were coming back on Monday ready to work."
Joe Quinn, Salem Senior Strong Safety: "A lot o good teams beat another good team, and then kind of level out and don't continue to grow. That's what's good about high school playoffs and playoffs in general, you always know that the next team is there for a reason."
And that next team, Sherando, has faced off with Salem before. And the Spartans say they see a lot of their own program in their next opponent.
Nick Wade: "We, as players, respect their program a ton. They take pride in the same kind of things we do, weightroom, and playing smart, and playing quick. So it's going to take us being disciplined, and really studying the film, and knowing what they're going to do, and really playing out own game."
Stephen Magenbauer: "They're coached extremely well. They really test your discipline. So we have to play disciplined defense, play real smart, and then we have to be fast and physical."
And though both teams may be evenly matched, Salem will at least have the home field advantage, something that means a lot to the seniors on this team.
Joe Quinn: "After the Charlottesville playoff game this year, that could've been our last home game, my last home game, the seniors last at the stadium. So knowing that we get to go back there, gives us a little edge."
And though it might be the seniors final game at Salem Stadium, they are surely hoping they're able to play one more game the following week.
Nick Wade: "Oh, it would mean the world. It would be the best feeling ever, just to do it with my brothers, and do it with the guys that I've been playing with since I was 5 or 6. It would be great. It's an honor to play for them. Some people when I was a freshman, Coleman Fox and them, just playing in there shoes and getting to be where they were at, it's an honor. And I feel like us as seniors and everyone else, we're just trying to fulfill what they left behind. So it's a blessing."
Stephen Magenbauer: "I think anything in life-- if you're a competitor, you just want to go after it. You just want to enjoy the moment, and you don't want to have any regrets, and you don't want to be satisfied. We've always preached that around here, don't be satisfied, and I don't think they are. I think they're still really hungry for this."