New coach comes ‘home’ to lead Cougar football

First-year coach Kevin Steiner has a nucleus of six returning seniors and letter-winners this fall. Pictured are: back row (from left), Thieen Antoszyk, Alfonse Klenda, Kevin Mueller; front row, Lance Diepenbrock, Aaron Bowman and Seth Jirak.

Although Centre High School football coach Kelly Steiner is in his first year coaching the Cougars, he is no stranger to the program.

He played at Centre in his youth and has returned with the goal of building the program and improving on the 2005 team’s 6-4 record.

Hope won the Eisenhower League last year and will be good again, but Steiner’s squad will work to challenge every team it plays.

“We’re not going to have a single easy week,” Steiner said. “We can be a very competitive team ourselves, but the opponent we’re going to play every week is also going to be very competitive.”

With five seniors and 10 juniors, the 2006 Cougars will have some familiar faces in the lineup.

Most familiar to fans at Centre will be senior running backs Lance Diepenbrock, Seth Jirak and Thieen Antoszyk.

The three backs will give the Cougars the ability to show their opponents several different looks in the offensive backfield.

Antoszyk is 5-feet-8 and 140 pounds, Diepenbrock is 5-10, 195, and Jirak is 5-9, 230.

The linemen paving the way for the running game will be junior Aaron Bowman (6-0, 190), senior Alfonse Klenda (6-2, 220) and junior Tye Remy (6-1, 265).

Steiner will give at least two players the opportunity to earn the starting quarterback job: junior Zach Slayden (5-11) and sophomore Ben Krause (5-9).

Senior end Kevin Mueller will play opposite sophomore James Weber.

“Our motto this year is, ‘One step at a time, one game at a time,’ because we will have to play well to give ourselves a chance to win each week,” Steiner said.

“Hopefully, by the time we hit district play we’ll be starting to reach our peak.”

Centre begins its season Friday at Madison. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

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