The Centre High School football team has six returning starters?four seniors, a junior and a sophomore?from a team that went 0-9 last fall. The Cougars have both room to improve and the knowledge gained through experience.
?We had a lot of underclassmen playing last year, and hopefully that experience will help this fall,? said coach Kelly Steiner, who brings a 4-14 record into his third season.
Steiner has in place a senior tandem in the backfield in quarterback Ben Krause (5-feet-10, 160) and running back Brandon Albrecht (5-10, 170).
Though not a returning starter, Josh Olson will likely make a considerable contribution at the end position.
Senior Josh Leach (6-1, 200) is the team?s only returning starter on the offensive line.
Defensively, sophomore Tanner Brunner (6-1, 150) will make his mark on opposing runners from his position at linebacker.
Brunner will be joined in the defensive backfield by junior Zach Antoszyk (5-8, 145) and senior Konley Harding (6-0, 180).
?Tanner is one of our hardest hitters,? Steiner said. ?We should be faster this year, especially on defense.?
But the schedule remains tough, with Hope sure to be at or near the top of the Eisenhower League again this season.
?A tough early schedule should help prepare us for districts,? Steiner said. ?We are just concentrating on getting better every day.?
Centre opens it season against Goessel Sept. 5.