• Last modified 684 days ago (Aug. 30, 2017)


Centre Cougars field small but energetic football team

Steiner jumps back into head coaching spot

Staff writer

With six returning starters, Centre football team has a strong base despite a small number of players.

Steiner returns as head coach after serving as an assistant for four years and head coach for eight years prior to that. He compiled a record of 33-32 as head coach.

“I am enjoying the attitude and work ethic that I have seen so far,” Steiner said.

The 11 players got together several times a week this summer to keep themselves in condition. Led by senior members, they met at Lincolnville’s ballpark, did warm-ups, ran through the streets, and then returned to the ball diamond to do sprints, throw a football around, and take turns flipping a large tractor tire. They also worked out at the school’s weight room two or three times a week.

Sophomore Braxton Smith will be the quarterback.

Like most players, Max Svoboda will play on both sides of the ball. The 185-pound, 5-foot-9-inch senior is a running back and linebacker.

His cousin, Cody Svoboda, is a 220-pound, 6-4 senior who plays end and defensive end.

Jacob Bittle, a 5-11, 280-pound senior, plays center and nose guard.

Kyle Naerebout, a 6-foot, 270-pound junior, is a guard and nose guard. Xavier Espinoza, a 150-pound, 6-foot end, and sophomore Jensen Riffel, a 190-pound, 6-foot running back and linebacker, round out the top six.

Steiner said, with low numbers out, it would be important to stay healthy.

The Cougars will face Osborne, Central Plains, and Burlingame, three teams that he described as “projected state powers.”

“We are in a very tough district,” Steiner said. “We will work to get better each week.”

He is assisted by Jason Stika and Tim Vinduska.

The Cougars open the season Sept. 1 with a home game against Little River.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2017