• Junior Kyle Burns is one of three quarterbacks vying for the starting job at Centennial. Also in the mix are junior Hunter Prescher and sophomore David Robinson.  BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE

Spartans start strong

Going into his team’s first practice of the season, Centennial coach Kyle Geller said he wanted to see great effort, excitement and retention of what the Spartans learned during spring drills.

All three were on display for the Spartans who are the District 9-5A defending co-champions after going 6-1 last season and are seeking their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Centennial posted a record of 10-2 last season.

“We were pretty solid on retention,” Geller said. “We didn’t have too many mental busts on the first day.

I saw good effort. No one was loafing out there. We were blessed with nice weather”

The Spartans will hold an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday and will scrimmage at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 at Mansfield Legacy. Centennial opens the non-district play at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 hosting Saginaw Boswell.

During conditioning drills on Monday some players were huffing and puffing Geller said.

“You could tell who worked harder than others during off-season,” Geller said. “But that always happens that way.”

Offensively, ball protection is a key and it is even more important in the Spartans’ triple option. In the first part of practice Geller said the ball protection was good but in last part of practice it wasn’t so good.

“We have to do better on that,” Geller said.

Who will be QB?

The Spartans headed into fall drills looking to replace three-year starter Payton Strambler at quarterback. The candidates include juniors Hunter Prescher and Kyle Burns and sophomore David Moore.

Geller told the trio that after six practices he was going to narrow the list to two players. Those two would take snaps with the first- and second-teams while the third would take limited snaps at quarterback while working at another offensive position.

“After the Legacy scrimmage we will have a starter named,” Geller said. “Hopefully they will separate themselves and make my decision easier. No matter which two are chosen, I think all three can contribute to the offense.”

Praise

Geller said he thought his quarterbacks were fundamentally ahead of where he thought they would be on the first day. He also said all four fullbacks looked good on Monday. The battle for a spot cornerback could be a good one with the addition of several move-ins into the mix.

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Junior Kyle Burns is one of three quarterbacks vying for the starting job at Centennial. Also in the mix are junior Hunter Prescher and sophomore David Robinson.  BURLESON STAR/RICKY MOORE