By Greg Phipps
The Peabody High School football team has to be entering the 2018 campaign feeling good about its prospects. Last season, the Tanners turned around a poor first half of the season (when they went 1-4) to close out with a 5-1 record over their final six games and finish 6-5.
The one loss over that second-half stretch was an overtime defeat at Lynn Classical, when the Tanners couldn’t hold on to a late lead. Peabody excelled on both offense and defense, averaging nearly 30 points per game and allowing less than 10 points.
That’s a formula head coach Mark Bettencourt and his team would like to keep alive as this year commences. Peabody looks to get off to a winning start (something it hasn’t been able to do in recent years) as the campaign opens against Somerville this Friday night (scheduled 7 p.m. kickoff) at Peabody Veterans Memorial Stadium. Last year, the Tanners lost their opener at Somerville, 24-7, and dropped their next two games to begin 0-3.
Winning the season opener is something Peabody hasn’t done since 2011, and the Tanners have gotten off to 1-3 starts the past three seasons. That’s a trend they hope to reverse this fall.