2019 saw Sean Coultis take over a Central team that had just been to state, and the Bears maintained their high level of play despite the coaching swap.
"We had a great off-season as far as lifting weights and most importantly, building relationships with the kids," said Central head coach Sean Coultis. "Last year I came in at the last second, and they didn't know me, I didn't know them. But now hopefully they know I care about them and will do anything in the world to help them and hopefully that pays dividends more than anything else."
"He was very motivational," said Central Sophomore Blake Herdes. "We had a program that we ran for 20 years plus with the Owens' and Coach Burgess at Central. He came in and changed that and we all had to buy in, it took a little bit of time, once we got that we were good."
This year Central returns nine players on each side of the ball which should help them in their run for their 4th SIAC title in the past 5 years.
"Two new teams is a big addition to the SIAC and mostly we did a good job last year but I feel like we need to control our own destiny this year," said Central Senior Teorien Evans. "Last year was a big year for us but I feel like we could have been better. This year I feel like we're more focused, we're more prepared, and we'll be more prepared for the big games. We'll do a better job when those games come around."
We just need to go out there and show everybody why we think we're rated number 2 or number 1 however it is," said Central Senior Julian Johnson. "We just need to go out there and punch people in the mouth when it's time to play."
The Bears believed last year was their year to make another deep run, but their season was cut short with a loss to Memorial in the sectional championship. A loss that has provided fuel for Central in 2020.
"If we do the little things right like sprinting to the ball, make wrap up tackles, reading our coverages right, getting back and not getting beat deep like we did," said Evans. "It's a lot of things like that we need to control and I think we'll be the best at getting prepared for those things."
We beat Memorial the first game when we played them in the regular season and we kind of overlooked them," said Johnson. "We've just got to be ready to play every game this year."