Jason Marsh, Salamanca head football coach, has been named the Buffalo Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week #4 after his Warriors beat Southwestern 21-10 last week.
It was the first regular-season loss for Southwestern since the 2007 season. Southwestern had won New York State championships in 2008 and 2009 and their winning streak had reached 39 games before the Trojans lost in the Section VI title game last fall.
Despite the enormity of the win, Marsh said that his players were not overly excited in the week leading up to the game.
"We just approached it like we would any other game," he said. "It was a real close game until the fourth quarter."
Salamanca led 6-3 at the half.
"We had scored on our opening drive but we hadn't done much after that," Marsh said. "We had the lead so we knew we had to play good defense."
Marsh said that he did not notice any sense of excitement in the locker room at halftime.
"The kids were super excited that they were ahead," he said, "but they just went out and kept playing. They just had fun. They weren't nervous and that helped the coaching staff."
Salamanca quarterback Tanner John rushed for 159 yards and ran for two touchdowns and passed for another. The Warriors stretched their lead to 13-3 in the third quarter and then 21-3 in the final frame before Southwestern scored a late touchdown.
Marsh says that this week will be harder for his coaching staff than getting ready for Southwestern was.
"We really have to focus on not having a letdown," he said. "We have to play with the same intensity and focus. It was a great win but it was one league win."
Marsh started at tight end and linebacker for three years under legendary coach George Whitcher. He played in two Section VI championship games. Salamanca lost to Cleve Hill 16-14 in 1989, and returned to Rich Stadium the following season and beat Wilson 23-0 for the Class C crown. Marsh was named a 1st-team all-league player and was also selected to play in the Big 30 game against the team from Pennsylvania.
After high school, Marsh played defensive end and linebacker at Hamilton College, where he earned his degree in Physical Therapy.
"That's what I wanted right out of high school," he said. "It just seemed like something I wanted to do."
In 2001, then head coach Rich Morton hired Marsh to coach the JV team at Salamanca. Marsh was named the varsity coach in 2005. He is the K-12 Physical Therapist for the Salamanca School District.
"I work with a lot of Special Needs kids," he said. "A lot of kids with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It's really a wide variety of things that we have to work with."
Marsh said that his work with Special Needs children and with football players is similar.
"Some days there isn't a lot of difference," he said. "You have to do a lot of motivating with each group. You have to be creative with them and do different things to motivate them to want to do well."
He still talks often with Whitcher.
"We talk about Xs and Os a lot," Marsh said. "We talk about different ways to motivate the kids. This week we talked about guarding against a letdown."
Each week during the 11-week high school football season a committee appointed by the Buffalo Bills will select a high school football head coach as the Buffalo Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week. Each honoree will receive a $2,000 donation to their high school football program from the Buffalo Bills Youth Foundation and New York National Guard. The eleven finalists are also eligible for the Buffalo Bills & National Guard High School Coach of the Year Award where an additional $2,000 grant for their high school's football program will be given.
As a result of Marsh being named the week two Buffalo Bills & National Guard High School Coach of the Week winner, the Salamanca football program will be given the $2,000 awarded by the Bills and the New York National Guard.
Bills & National Guard Coach of the Week winners:
Week 1: Steve McDuffie, Bennett Tigers
Week 2: John Faller, Sweet Home Panthers
Week 3: Dennis Gilbert, St. Joe's Marauders
Week 4: Jason Marsh, Salamanca Warriors