BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) -- The Centerville Tigers battled hard against a difficult schedule. After going 2-3 in non-district play, Centerville won all five 9-2A Division II games to claim a district championship.
The Tigers dominated their first four district opponents before overcoming rival Leon in the season finale to claim the crown. Centerville knocked off Cushing in the bi-district round before falling in a shootout to eventual state quarterfinalist Tenaha in the area playoffs.
Head coach Kyle Hardee said, “The best part of the season was watching our kids continue to work hard and improve despite the adversity we faced with a challenging schedule. Keeping them positive and looking at the big picture during those early losses was our biggest challenge.”
Coach Hardee welcomes back eight starters on both sides of the ball to a team looking to defend a district title. He believes his squad will be challenged in non-district play with a tough schedule once again, but hopes they will be playing their best when district rolls around. Offensively, the Tigers will run their familiar wing offense, led by junior quarterback Dillon Denmon.
Hardee says, “He became the full-time starter during the season last year and ended up with eight starts as a sophomore.” Caidenn Boss is another junior looking to build on a solid sophomore year at running back, and Dillan Brent and BJ Kelly will be key returning starters up front on the offensive line. Hardee says, “We have a chance to be solid on the offensive line and bring back experience at several skill positions.”
The Tiger defense starts up front with end Brian Rutlege, who is coming off an all-district season. Alan Skipworth returns at linebacker. He was injured on the first play of the first game a year ago and is a player Hardee says has a “nose for the ball.” Boss joins Skipworth at linebacker, while Denman and Kaden Dunn, whom Hardee says is the fastest player on the team, return in the defensive secondary. Centerville gets to play four of their five non-district games at home, including a week two matchup against 3A Div. II regional finalist Corrigan-Camden and a week six date with 2A Div. I state semifinalist San Augustine.
“Our non-district schedule is loaded with good teams, while our district has a chance to be even better than last season,” says Hardee.