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Centreville trying to shore up weak spots

CENTREVILLE — After a lukewarm performance at their jamboree last week, the Centreville Academy Tigers are trying to shore up their weak spots before their season-opening game against Oak Forest Friday.

Now, only if the weather would cooperate.

The Tigers are being hampered by the deluge of rain the area has seen over the past couple of days, and it’s affecting their practice regimen.

“We had to go to the gym, and it’s hard to get anything accomplished in the gym,” Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman said. “Hopefully we can get out on the field (today) and have a walkthrough.”

Stutzman said the team didn’t play as well as he would have liked in the jamboree, especially in the defensive secondary and offensive line.

“We saw a lot of weak spots in the secondary, and the offensive line didn’t block very well,” Stutzman said. “We’re a little behind where we thought we were based on the jamboree. We didn’t play as well as I thought we would play.”

The Tigers will go into the season with a new starting running back, after 2,000-yard rusher Zach Sinclair graduated.

Stutzman said Cliff Hurst will take over as the starting tailback, but Hunter Travis and Randy Bell will also get carries.

“I expect (Hurst) to take the load in our I-back offense,” Stutzman said. “But when we go to the double wing, Cliff will be one of the wings, and Hunter Travis and Randy Bell will be the other wings.”

Centreville’s other backfield players return, with Jason Todd Doughty at fullback and Tyler Towles at quarterback.

That experience should help the Tigers, as they open their season Friday against strong Class AAA opponent Oak Forest.

“Oak Forest is a very good team,” Stutzman said. “They are well-coached and have something like 18 seniors. They have some big running backs that can run fast. They’re going to try to spread the field, but they’ll run it more than they throw it.”

Stutzman said doing the fundamentals well will be key for a Centreville victory.

“We can’t commit turnovers and we can’t blow our assignments,” Stutzman said. “We have to be able to block and tackle them. I feel we’ve got the talent to win, we’ve just got to stop making stupid mistakes and be fundamentally sound.”

Stutzman said special teams could also play a big part in who wins on Friday.

“Most people haven’t worked on special teams in a live situation yet, Stutzman said. “Special teams could be a big factor in the game.”

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