With new system, Central Spartans work towards start of season

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Spartan defensive linebacker Kevin Even

EL CENTRO – As the 2017 high school football season approaches, the Central High School Spartans have hit the field, fine tuning their new system with Head Coach David Pena and the new Varsity coaching staff he’s implemented.

The Spartans finished last season with three wins and eight losses, and two of the wins were Imperial Valley League victories over Palo Verde and Calexico high schools.

This season, the Spartans aim to surpass their 2016 record by learning the new offensive formations Coach Pena has implemented.

“The short term goal for our offensive is to make sure the players understand the new system we are running,” said Pena. “And as coaches, it is our job to make sure the players are learning, because our team can only be good as our players’ understanding allows them to be.”

On the other side of the field, the Spartan defense will be a four-down team that will work to keep the plays in front of them. Central will look to minimize the opponent’s score by not giving them the chance to make the big plays that causes teams to fall behind.

“A team’s defense wins games, and by being a four-down team, we will work to give our offense more time on the field to make plays and drive the ball into our end zone,” said Pena.

Since a majority of the team are returning seniors, the players are learning brand new techniques that differ from the ones they executed last year.

“The style of play has changed a lot since last year and our team is improving everyday,” said Central linebacker Kevin Even. “The attitude the coaches produce out on the field is also more motivating, and that allows us to give more effort than last season.”

The team will also continue to work on unity and understanding by relating to football through prior knowledge, the coach said.

“If the players are learning the system, then I will never work,” Pena said. “And to relate to players, we use their prior knowledge to help them relate to the vision the coaching staff has been trying to implement.”

“Our team has already improved so much since the beginning. We will only continue to get better if our coaches continue to push us and expect the best performance every time, because by them being harder on us, it drives us to be better players to represent Spartan football,” Even said.