Centennial Eagles

Last year: 3-7 overall, 3-6 league.

Coach: Jamie Wagner, first season.

Last playoff appearance: 1980, lost in Class B semifinals.

Keep an eye on: DE/G James Oleinik. After tossing the shot put farther than anybody in the county last winter (42 feet 1 1/2 inches), the 6-foot, 245-pound senior will try to move something much heavier this fall: linemen.

"Doing both has a lot to do with using your hands and using the right technique," Oleinik said. "So I think there is a correlation between the two."

Oleinik is typical of this year's team, which is made up mainly of players who excel in other sports. The team hopes that the players' success during the winter and spring seasons carries over to the football field, where Centennial has not made the playoffs in nearly a quarter century.

"James knows what it takes to be a champion, and you need guys like that on your team," Coach Jamie Wagner said. "He's our best all-around player."

With a new coach and radically different offensive scheme, the Eagles have gone through many offseason changes.

Centennial will be one of five area teams using the single-wing, which places four players behind the line of scrimmage who can each be used as the quarterback. The offense is designed to confuse defenses with fakes, misdirection running plays and an occasional pass.

The four players behind the line this season each won state titles in the spring -- Alex Ashcroft, Eric Evans and John Bauer in lacrosse and Alex Bechta in baseball.

"What we did in the past obviously wasn't working, but now with our new offense, we think it's going to open some people's eyes," Oleinik said. "It's going to be hard for defenses to prepare for us because there are not a lot of teams that run the offense we do."

Centennial also must improve a defense that was one of the worst in the league a year ago, giving up at least 28 points seven times. Oleinik will anchor the front seven, and the team needs linebackers Michael Rossberg and Evans, as well as defensive backs Jonathan Stumpf and Bechta, to solidify the unit.

"I think our entire team is going to look totally different than we did last year," Oleinik said. "But at the same time, I've never been more optimistic about our team than I am right now."

James Oleinik, a champion in the shot put, will play defensive end and guard for Centennial, which was 3-7 last year.