Geller pleased with Spartans progress so far
Last Monday for the first time, Centennial football coach Kyle Geller and his staff had full compliment of players to work with during spring football as a handful of skill position players hit the field following the end of the Spartans’ baseball season.
The key additions included quarterback Payton Strambler, slot back/defensive back Blake Birdwell and receiver/defensive back Ethan Quintanilla.
“Things came pretty natural for them,” Geller said. “It was an easy transition just a different physical demand. Our baseball coaches kept them in pretty good shape.”
So the Spartans have been afforded two weeks of practice with key players back.
Centennial closes out spring drills at 6 p.m. Friday with its annual spring game. The team and the coaching staff will be divided into two squads with Geller serving as the game commissioner.
“We just want them to have a good time out there,” Geller said.
With key losses on both offense and defense, backups and young players have had the chance to win jobs this spring. The areas of concern going into spring drills were on the offensive line, defensive line and at linebacker. The offensive line’s development took a blow when an injury kept Kyle Perry, the lone starter returning on the line, from working out in the spring.
“I’ve seen steady improvement from our young guys up front on the offensive line,” Geller said. “They are still a ways off but you can see the improvement daily.”
On the defensive line, Garrett Parkhill and Ronnie Burns-Lane are back. Stepping in to fill the holes on the line are Jacob Rowan and Cole Porter. At linebacker, Andrew Walker, Charlie Walker, Blake Murphy and Grant Brown are locking down spots.
“With the guys on defense it is just a matter of them getting reps,” Geller said. “They are all going to be good players.”
This season Centennial will have four players starting on offense and defense in Kelton Tezeno, Jailon Freeman, Quintanilla and Birdwell.
“Our offensive skill guys have pretty much retained what we did last year,” Geller said. “Things are much easier for them this time as far as assignments and things like that.”
Three players are vying for time at tailback for the Spartans including Darrell Williams, Kevin Romero and Jonathan Ferris.
Centennial’s first test for the 2016 season will be a home scrimmage Aug. 19 against Mansfield Legacy.
The Spartans open the football season Aug. 26 at Saginaw Boswell. Centennial’s other non-district games will be at home Sept. 2 against Birdville and Sept. 9 versus White Settlement Brewer.
Centennial begins District 9-5A play Sept. 23 at Crowley. The annual “Boot Game” with Burleson is slated for Nov. 14. The Spartans will be the home team.