Perhaps Midland's toughness is a result of players taking on their coach's personality. Salmons won the Hunt Award as the state's top lineman at Ravenswood in 1998 before a successful playing career at Marshall.
"The coaches, they put us through almost like hell in the summer," senior transfer David Gaydosz said. "I've never been through something like that."
What pushed the Knights to physical limits strengthened the team's bond.
"We're all family," Gaydosz said. "We came through adversity. We had some ups and downs this season, but we all push each other because we all look at each other as family and brothers."
That unity, that toughness propelled the Knights to new heights.
"I never realized we would be in this position," Farley said. "When we all met up (Thursday) we were like we're 9-0, we have the chance to be 10-0, and everyone was just ecstatic about it because it's the first opportunity. We're making history basically.
"We set some goals and that was one of them. We've already broken pretty much every single one we set except for state championship."
Assault on that remaining goal begins with Oak Hill.
Salmons instilled the right attitude in the Knights. Now, it's up to the players to build upon the legacy they'll leave.
"These kids are battled tested, so to go to the playoffs with that mindset, it's a pretty great thing," Salmons said.