Coming off a 20-win season that saw the Knights advance all the way to the AAAAA state championship game, Centennial returned just two starters to the pitch this season — leaving Head Coach Phil Thomas with nine starting positions to fill and a roster full of young players looking to make their mark on the varsity level.
“These young guys have some big shoes to fill,” said Thomas, whose 2012 senior class led the Knights to a region championship last spring. “But the good thing is that we had a lot of capable kids come out that were talented, young, and eager to continue the winning tradition we have established here.
“It’s been an exciting first few weeks and I know these young guys are hopeful they can get this program back to a state championship level.”
Early returns on the youthful roster have been positive. Through their first six games the Knights are 4-2 overall and carry 3-1 mark in 6AAAAAA play — trailing only Lambert for first place.
Returning senior starters Cameron Bean (center back) and Matt Celani (goalkeeper) have brought leadership to the backline and kept the Knights defense strong — allowing just four goals in six contests — while youngsters Sebastian Guzman, David Flores, Sterling Wendt and Diego Torres have sparked Centennial’s attack.
Guzman, a sophomore forward, scored three times in a win over West Forsyth; Flores, a junior forward, has three goals on the season while Wendt and Torres (both juniors) have distributed the ball well from the midfield.
Centennial will host Johns Creek in their next region game on Friday.