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WJBD - Local Sports - High School Football Returns Tonight

High School Football Returns Tonight

It has been forty-three weeks since the Salem Wildcat football team last

took the field and scored the lone win of the 2012 season.

It

has been fifty-two weeks since the 60th Annual Shrine Game. From there,

the Centralia Orphans went undefeated in the regular season, winning the

South Seven title outright, before a loss to Jacksonville in the first

round of the playoffs. The Wildcats were winless in the Apollo

Conference and finished 1-8.

But there has been a renewed sense of energy at Salem High, and practices have improved from the outset.

Junior quarterback Coleton Harness discussed what he worked on in the off season.

"I've

worked on my footwork a lot, and getting my hips turned, getting turned

to the ball and making good passes to my wide receivers."

Harness,

a second-year starter at quarterback, has been looking at the Wildcat

defenders for a couple weeks, and is encouraged by what he sees.

"We're

excited about this year. We have a lot of energy on defense. And I'm

just excited. I'm just going to keep my head focused."

Senior

Seth Crain, who plays tight end as well as safety, knows the Orphans

graduated a lot of talent, but says the burden is still on the Wildcats

to go out and show they want the game more.

"There's a lot of

confidence going in there, that they lost a lot of people and we have a

lot of people returning. But we still have to go in there and decide

whether we really want it or not. We have to go in there and fight our

hearts out."

The 61st Annual Shrine Game between Salem and Centralia kicks off from Jim Finks Field at 7:30. Gates open at 6:30.

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