• Casey Wright, left, Centennial’s top scorer in last season, returns for his junior campaign.  BURLESON STAR/FILE PHOTO

Boydstun sees Spartans shaping up

New Centennial boys soccer coach Brian Boydstun has been nothing but pleased with the way his players have responded to his coaching style.

“I think we are going to be good,” Boydstun said. “I’m really excited about the guys we have, they are hard workers, they listen, they are coachable and they have been getting after it.”

Boydstun, who came to Centennial after eight seasons as the junior varsity head boys soccer coach at Mansfield Summit, has instituted a new conditioning regiment for the Spartans.

“I have put some more stuff on them as far as conditioning than they have been used to and they have responded well to that,” Boydstun said.

To be on the varsity a player must compete a mile in six minutes. Boydstun said that running a six-minute mile doesn’t make you a good soccer player but he doesn’t know a good player who can’t run.

Boydstun isn’t sure what formation or style of play the Spartans will use when they open District 9-5A play Jan. 27 at Crowley. He plans on using Centennial’s two tournaments and a non-district match Jan. 17 at Aledo to help make those decisions.

“Those games will show the qualities of my guys and I’ll adjust things to make us successful,” Boydston said.

The Spartans will be trying to halt a three-playoff drought. Last season, Centennial went 2-12-0 in District 8-5A play and posted an overall record of 3-18-0.

“I think we are going to really push for a playoff spot this season,” Boydstun said. “It’s just a matter of staying healthy.”

The main building blocks for Boydstun are junior forward Casey Wright, a second-team all-district player and the Spartans’ leading scorer from last season, and defensive midfielder Joey Williams, a senior, who Boydstun said will be the quarterback on the field.

“We have a lot of good solid players,” Boydstun said. “We just need a couple of guys to step up and be special. I’ve been moving players around to new positions. Hopefully I can  get them to understand and play within their new role.”

The Spartans open play today at the Saginaw Chisholm Trail Tournament.

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Casey Wright, left, Centennial’s top scorer in last season, returns for his junior campaign.  BURLESON STAR/FILE PHOTO