Photo By Steve Conner - #24 Preston Esplin
Written by Wayne Dzubak
Centennial High football has turned to the past to prepare for the future.
Former Patriot Matt Greene has taken over the program as head coach. Greene has gone to great lengths to remind his players of Centennial’s winning tradition by filling out his staff with several former Patriots like Josh Borgman, Zack Garner, Kenton Bartlett and Hayden Harvey, all of whom played college football.
Greene also retained Joel Seagraves, Eli Allen and Nate Weddle from last year’s coaching staff to help in the transition. Greene rounds out his staff with three more former collegiate players in Quayshawn Buckley, Spencer Beale and Kegan Lester.
2019 started in inspiring fashion for the Patriots, as they won two of their first three games. At 2-1, Centennial was in the thick of the 5A standings as they faced Timberline in Week 4. The game went back and forth before Timberline prevailed 28-21. The loss seemed to deflate the Centennial momentum and the Patriots dropped their next five games to finish 2-7.
But for Greene, last year’s disappointing finish should have no bearing on 2020’s performance, thanks to a new offense designed to take advantage of play makers.
“We will look to take advantage of the athletes in our program and get them to play as fast as possible with lots of energy,” Greene said.
Greene isn’t worried so much about a balanced attack as he is an attack that will produce points and wins. That means getting the ball to stars like receivers Michael Shulikov and Gavin Ozuna and handing the ball to running back Preston Esplin.
On defense, Greene wants to see high energy, a passion for rallying to the ball and creating havoc in the form of turnovers, inspired
“We will be a high energy, fast paced defense looking to create turnovers and tackle as a team,” Greene said. “We will play with the #BONS mantra that made the Centennial defenses of the past so successful.”
Greene said he wants this to be the start of a new era at Centennial, an era dedicated to returning to the playoffs but more importantly, to the return of Patriot Pride.