Centennial's Tezeno shares utility accolades
When Kelton Tezeno arrived at Centennial, he had big cleats to fill in football.
His brother Kevin had been a star for the Spartans.
Kelton started for Centennial as a freshman and as a senior was shared Utility Player of the Year honors on the District 9-5A football team with Crowley’s Brynnen Sanders.
Tezeno did a little bit of everything for the Spartans this season, including playing slot back, defensive back and returning punts and kickoffs.
Spartans coach Kyle Geller said Tezeno instints and natural talent made him the best football player in the football program’s history.
Offensively, Tezeno was second on the team in rushing with 54 carries for 603 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 11.2 yards per carry and scored every nine times he carried the ball. He also caught six passes for 144 yards and two scores. Tezeno also had to kick returns for touchdowns.
On defense, in 10 games he recorded 51 tackles including 39 solo stops. He had three tackles for losses and broke up one pass.
He amassed those totals despite playing hurt most of the season and missed playing time because of the injuries.
“Maybe the best thing about Kelton is he’s a great teammate,” Geller said. “In today’s day and age he could be like other great players and be all about himself but he’s not like that. He has no ego. His teammates love him. He played hurt most of the year. He’s special. We will really miss him. He’s kind of left a legacy here.”
Even though the Spartans finished with 5-6 record, Geller said they had a great season considering the number of injuries the team battled through. Centennial nearly won its first-round playoff game against Mansfield Lake Ridge, falling 35-27. The Spartans had a chance to win in the final seconds but a potential touchdown pass was broken up at the goal line.
“I think we were a really good 5-6 team, if that makes sense,” Geller said. “About halfway through the year, our offense started humming. We had some youth on offense and battled through quite a few injuries. All of our losses were tight games. It was really excruciating to go through that. You feel like we should have won each of the games we lost. It was a roller coaster ride but I never doubted this team’s effort. They were a joy to coach.”
Centennial produced a pair of first-team players in senior right tackle Kyle Perry and senior receiver Wellington Bridges.
Perry, who signed to play football at the United States Military Academy at West Point last Wednesday, was a three-year starter of the Spartans who made an impact on and off the field while battling through shoulder injuries the past two seasons.
“Kyle is like Kelton, he’s been around forever,” Geller said. “It seems like he’s been a six-year starter for us but he’s only been a starter for three years. He can play any position on the line, he’s very, very intelligent. Going to West Point you have to be. He’s very football saavy. I think Kyle’s legacy is the way he cares about not just his teammates but everyone around him. He’s really left a legacy of giving.”
Bridges emerged as the Spartans go-to receivers this season and made some big plays for Centennial. He battled his way through the season with a nagging hamstring injury.
Playing in the Spartans’ triple-option offense, he didn’t receive many targets in the passing game and was called on to block a lot. Bridges finished the season with 11 catches for 175 yards (15.9 yards per catch) and two touchdowns.
“Wellington will be playing college football next year,” Geller said. “He has several offers right now. He has good size. He’s a great team player and is unselfish. His best days are ahead of him.”
The Spartans had three second-team offensive players in senior tackle Carter Strahan, junior slot back Chris Mosely and junior guard Trevor Suggs. Centennial had five second-team defensive players in senior ends Bryson Fleming and Cole Porter, senior inside linebacker Jacob Jackson, senior outside linebacker Blake Murphy and senior safety Myron Easley.
Centenial’s honorable mention players were seniors Logan Barksdale (reciever), Kevan Romero (running back), Braidon Leigh (outside linebacker) and defensive linemen Thomas Godi and Delshan Mell; juniors Kyle Burns (quarterback), Brayden Chandler (center), David Robinson (receiver), Darrell Williams (running back) and cornerbacks Da’Quan Campbell and Corey Price and sophomore running back Jaylon Jackson