|2005 Centre football season preview
RELEASED: Sept. 1, 2005
DANVILLE, KYThe Centre College football team will look to rebound after a disappointing 2004 campaign, which saw the Colonels finish 4-6 overall and 2-4 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Head Coach Andy Frye returns 64 letter winners, including 15 starters, four of whom were All-SCAC performers last year.
The Colonels will need to fill some key positions and avoid injuries to get back to their 2003 form, which saw them tie for the SCAC Championship with an 8-2 overall record.
The Colonels return eight starters on offense but will have to replace one of the best quarterback-receiver tandems in school history. Brian Behrendt and David Crowley combined to break 13 school records at Centre, but both have graduated.
The Colonels do return their second and third top receivers in junior Adam Clark (Frankfort, Ky.), who had a breakout season last year, earning second team All-SCAC honors, and senior Lou Brenner (Morningview, Ky.), the starting slot receiver a year ago. Senior Michael Swartzentruber (Goshen, Ky.) also returns for the Colonels. Junior Kevin Phelps (Leitchfield, Ky.) is the top candidate to replace Behrendt at quarterback.
In the backfield, two of the top three running backs return in senior Adam Blandford (Middletown, Ohio) and junior Nick Warren (Walton, Ky.).
The offensive line returns all five starters, including two all-conference performers from last year. Senior Justin Roe (Paris, Ky.), a two-time All-SCAC selection, will anchor a very experienced line. Senior Brian Martinko (LaGrange, Ky.) returns at center as a two-year starter and All-SCAC selection in 2004. Also returning up front are seniors Tyler Davidson (Louisville, Ky.) and Thomas Dunn (Knoxville, Tenn.), as well as junior Michael Beehan (Oak Ridge, Tenn.)
The Colonels' return seven starters on the defensive side of the ball, but will have to replace all three starting linebackers from a year ago.
Centre does, however, return three starting defensive lineman and four starting defensive backs. Sophomore Matt Johnson (Ashland, Ky.), one of the Colonels' starting defensive ends last year as a freshman, will make the transition to linebacker this year. Senior Taylor Vaughan (Ashland, Ky.) returns as the Colonels' most experienced linebacker. Others vying for time at linebacker include seniors Vail Brennan (Fort Thomas, Ky.) and Ryan Walker (Madisonville, Ky.).
Juniors Brian Dougherty (Hopkinsville, Ky.), and Michael Tribble (Knoxville, Tenn.) return as starters along the defensive line.
Centre returns five defensive backs with considerable experience. Senior Chad Loveless (Rockwell, Texas) and sophomore Tyler Moody (Cincinnati, Ohio) finished the 2004 season as Centre's starting safeties. Senior Taylor Holland (McKenzie, Tenn.), the most experience cornerback, and sophomore John Perin (Cincinnati, Ohio), a starting cornerback, also return. The secondary should also get a boost with the return of junior Jacob Coleman (Nashville, Tenn.). Coleman led the SCAC in interceptions two years ago, but missed the entire 2004 season with an injury.
Senior Chris Thompson (Crestwood, Ky.) returns as an All-SCAC selection at kicker from last year. Thompson handled the PAT/FG duties last year and will look to do the same in 2005. Competition will be strong for both kick-off and punting duties.
Centre will open its 2005 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 3, at home against Bluffton University. Kick-off is set for 1:30 pm at Farris Field in Danville.
For more on the Centre football program, see [link: http://www.centreathletics.comfootball/football_index.html].
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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