Spartans square off with Corsicana again
For the third time in less than a year, Centennial and Corsicana will face off in football Friday night.
Centennial won both meetings last season defeating the Tigers, 28-26, in the both squad’s season-opener and downing Corsicana, 28-20, in a Class 5A Division II Region II playoff game at Burleson ISD Stadium.
The team’s return to Burleson ISD Stadium at 7:30 p.m. Friday night to face off again.
The game will mark the debut of the Tigers new coach Hal Wasson, who came to Corsicana from Southlake Carroll.
While at Carroll, Wasson posted a record of 125-21, won nine district titles in 11 seasons and won the 2011 Class 5A Division I state title. That year he was also awarded National Coach of the Year Honors by USA Today.
This will mark the first time Centennial coach Kyle Geller has coached against Wasson.
“I have a lot of respect for him, he’s one of the greats in Texas high school football,” Geller said. “He’s the type of guy I’d like to have a long lunch with and have him impart some of his knowledge.”
Centennial comes into the game with high hopes. The Spartans return a bushel load of players from last year’s team that went 12-2. It was Centennial’s most successful season in the program’s history.
Corsicana, which went 9-3 last season, will be trying to make a statement for their new coach, Geller said.
“I think, in their minds, they have a new coach and want to show him what we can do,” Geller said. “I believe that more than the revenge factor if I was a player I would want to play well for my new coach.”
The Tigers return five starters on offense and six on defense from a team that went 7-1 in District 8-5A Division II play last season.
Geller was able to see the Tigers scrimmage with Class 6A powerhouse Hewitt Midway in person Thursday night in Corsicana.
He said the scrimmage didn’t give him a good indication of what the Spartans will face Friday night. Anytime you have a coaching change, the team is going to change.
“We probably didn’t see everything they are going to do in that scrimmage,” Geller said. “I guess we will just have to see on Friday night. For us, it is going to be about fundamentals and lining up properly.”
To create a game plan, Geller said he and his coaching staff took what they saw in the scrimmage and did their best to analyze Corsicana’s personnel and think about what formations they will probably be in.
“You just go from there,” Geller said. “It’s all a numbers game.”
Geller was impressed by Tigers’ sophomore quarterback Solomon James, who is the son of former Baylor quarterback Odell James. Odell James is Corsicana’s assistant head football coach.
“He showed a lot of promise in the scrimmage,” Geller said of James. “I was impressed with his arm.”
When asked about the keys to the game for Spartans, Geller hit on the usual suspects - having great discipline, protecting the football and winning the turnover game.
Geller saw some bright spots in the Spartans scrimmage at Waco Friday night. The biggest thing to come out of the scrimmage was that there were no injuries.
“We did some good things and have some things that we need to correct,” Geller said. “I was disappointed in our discipline and the lack of maturity we showed at times.”