CELINA — Trent Temple’s first season at Celina could be considered a success. A 7-3 record, including a 6-3 slatte in the Western Buckeye League, is a good foundation in which to build back-to-back winnings seasons for the first time since the 1990’s. Only consecutive losses to end the season kept the Bulldogs from making the postseason for the first time since 1998.
Getting into the playoffs will be the Bulldogs focus this season.
Junior quarterback Caleb Hoyng returns after leading an offense that averaged more than 30 points per game last season. Protecting Hoyng will be critical as four of their five lineman graduated from last season.
“We have our work cut out for us finding athletes that can fill those spots,” Temple said.
Senior Sean Kirk will be Hoyng’s primary target. His big play ability and senior leadership will be a security blanket for the offense.
“He’s one of our three-year letterman,” Temple said. “Sean is explosive on offense and is very sure handed when catching the football.”
Garett Winget will get the majority of carries from his running back spot.
“This is Garett’s first year with us,” Temple said. “We expect big things from him.”
While the offense will have to sure up the line, the defense has experience.
Senior linebacker Brandon Hoffman and defensive end/linebacker Frank Townsend team with Michael Teeters at tackle to make a formidable front.
“Brandon Hoffman is a two-year letterman on defense,” Temple said. “Brandon returns this year after having a great junior season. Brandon plays fundamental football and is always putting himself in a good position to make a stop.”
The Bulldogs allowed 20.2 points per game last season and ranked third in the Western Buckeye League in defense.
“With several key returners on the defensive side of the football we will be able to come out and play sound defensively,” Temple said. “Our returners have seen a lot of action on Friday nights, which will allow them to step up and make key stops for us.”
The Bulldogs start the season with Midwest Athletic Conference foe, Versailles, before jumping into the WBL.
“Our team and coaching staff is excited about the potential this year’s team has,” Temple said. “We know have areas to work on and we need key athletes to step up and fill positions. The talent is there, they just need to continue to work hard in practice and show us in the preseason scrimmages they are ready for the challenge.”