Central Football: Past, Present, and Future

By: Henry Chiles

The Central football team is over 100 years old, making it one of the most historical and highly-decorated teams in the school. However, from talking to a student in the building today, you would have no idea. Instead, you might hear of the team’s recent poor seasons that have led to disinterest among the student body and the team becoming defined by their losses. Central football strives to break out of this definition, and the future looks brighter right now than it has before. Can the football team ever get back to the level of success of its glory days?

These days came decades ago when the sport of football was thought of as exciting and entertaining, not dangerous and life-altering. Mr. Wenger, a former captain of the Central football team and current assistant coach, can remember when Central football was “consistently dominant.” So, what has changed since Mr. Wenger’s time playing? First of all, the team is a lot less successful now. Last year, it took the team until the end of the season to start playing at a high level, but it was already too late. Senior quarterback Elijah Glaser describes the 2021-22 year as “a really poor season… it left a sour taste in all of our mouths.” Secondly, as a school, Central has lost its passion for football. Fewer kids have been interested in joining the team, which has led to a lack of talent. Mr. Wenger believes that part of the loss of interest can be attributed to the concussion crisis that has kept parents from allowing their children to play football. The long-term effect of concussions is a recent discovery that did not impact Mr. Wenger’s team in the way that it has affected the current team. Another cause for a lack of passion is that an unsuccessful sports team in an academically-focused school like Central can be hard to draw interest towards, even if it is a premier high school sport like football.

Despite the shortage of interest and success, the future of Central football is hopeful. After the team played well at the beginning of the season (attaining a record of 2-2), Elijah Glaser believes that “this hot start is a sign of things to come.” The freshman (285) class has come out and displayed an exciting amount of interest in playing football, which is great, especially after the team lost many crucial seniors last year. Also, the players have improved their mindset. When out on the field, they are playing simply to play the game and have fun, instead of being crushed by the weight of expectations, like in past years. 

It feels like the signs are finally pointing in the right direction for Central football. The potential for the team in the near future is undoubtedly high. According to Glaser, “[Mr. Wenger] has played on good Central football teams. I think we’re finally starting to get to a point where we can start building towards that success and getting a football culture at Central.”

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