Steiner returns to lead Cougar football with six starters

The Centre football team is comprised of these athletes: (front row, from left) Cody Svoboda, Jacob Bittle, Max Svoboda, Kyle Naerebout; (middle row) Lane Methvin, Aidan Svoboda, Jensen Riffel, Kelsey Hett; (back row) Matthew Madron, Braxton Smith, Dalton Stika, Xavier Espinoza. Not pictured: Corden Minor, Tanner Peterson, Troy Jones. The Centre football program will have a new, yet familiar, face at the helm this season as Kelly Steiner has stepped into the role of head coach.

Steiner has served as an assistant coach for the Cougars the past four years. Before that, he was Centre’s head football coach from 2006 to 2012.

Six returning starters will look to improve upon last year’s 4-4 record.

Three senior starters return to lead the charge: running back/linebacker Max Svoboda (5-9, 185), end/defensive end Cody Svoboda (6-4, 220) and center/nose tackle Jacob Bittle (5-11, 280).

Two juniors return as starters: guard/nose tackle Kyle Naerebout (6-0, 270) and end/safety Xavier Espinoza (6-0, 150).

Sophomore running back/linebacker Jensen Riffel (6-0, 190) is Centre’s sixth returning starter.

“I am enjoying the attitude and work ethic that I have seen so far,” Steiner said. “With low numbers out, it will be important to stay healthy. We will work to get better each week as we are in a very tough district.”

The Cougars will kick off the season by hosting Little River Friday in their home-opener.

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