Centennial Preseason Preview

Centennial won the 5A2 state title. Can they do it again? Here is 24-7's preseason look at the Coyotes.

Team: Centennial
Mascot: Coyotes

City: Peoria

Head coach: Richard Taylor

2006 Record: 14-0

Region: 5A2 Desert West




8/31- @ Desert Ridge

9/7- @ Hamilton

9/14- Rincon

9/20- North

9/28- @ Desert Vista

10/5- La Joya

10/12- Tolleson

10/19- Westview

10/26- @ Sunrise Mountain

11/2- @ Ironwood


Key Losses: RB/LB RJ Anderson, WR Warren Johnson, TE Jesse Knaack, OL Brett Goetz, DT Tom Ramsey, DL Pedro Ramos, LB Rusty McConnell, LB/WR Alston Umuolo, OL/DL Joey Oliver, P/DB Austin West, OL Zach Castleberry, WR Mark Bell


Key Returners: QB Scott Burgett, RB/CB Jeff Hughes, WR Jarrell Barbour, OL Zach Schlink, RB John Hughes, LB Adam Shipley, DL Kendrick McBride, WR Jerrell Petersen




Let's face it, Centennial ran threw the opposition last year. They went undefeated including beating 5A1 state runner up Mt View. They pitched six shutouts and only one team came within two scores of them. Their offense only scored less then 30 points one time and a good portion of those players from that explosive unit are back. It starts with QB Scott Burgett. He was efficient last year and made few mistakes. He loses wideouts Alston Umuolo (San Diego State) and Warren Johnson and TE Jesse Knaack. The Coyotes do return two of the most dangerous players in the entire state in RB Jeff Hughes and WR Jarrell Barbour (Arizona commit). The two accounted for over 2300 yards of offense. The coaches also look for Jerrell Petersen to make plays. Coach Taylor says, "Jerrell Petersen really improved. We expect big things from him."


The offensive and defensive line may be the biggest concerns and Coach taylro says they spent a lot of time this off-season getting some guys ready to replace those they lost. They return the state's top OL in Zach Schlink but lose four all region players as Cory Woolery's return is uncertain because of a shoulder injury. Making matters worse was junior OL Bryant Gabbard has gone down with a knee injury. The Coyotes have a strong tradition of producing top notch offensive lines so I am sure OL Coach McDonald has some tricks up his sleeve.


The biggest lose on D is NT Tom Ramsey a three time all region pick.  6-3 260 pound DT Kendrick McBride, a move in from Yuma Kofa has the coaches excited. Coach Taylor went as far as to say that McBride has "some Tom Ramsey qualities." Big things are also expected from junior DE Jimmie Lewis.


Barbour along with the Hughes brothers, Jeff and John, will man a very fast secondary. In fact Taylor says this team is "as fast as we've ever had." Adam Shipley returns after recording 90 tackles last year from his LB spot and he will have to man the middle while replacements for Rusty McConnell and Umuolo are found.


This team is the hands down favorite to win 5A2. They are my early pick. They have some loses but they benefit by getting players from a 7-2 JV team and their skill position players can be matched with any in the state.

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