by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
Centerville fielded its first varsity football squad just five years ago.
The Bulldogs finished 3-8 overall in that first year but have not looked back as veteran coach Mark Millet continues to mold the young program into a dark horse contender in Class 1A.
According to FizzRankings, Centerville’s positive trajectory within the last few seasons has the young program primed to make a bit more noise this year as the Bulldogs have been ranked as the Class 1A “dark horse”.
A “dark horse” is a previously less known team that emerges amongst its peers when on paper should be unlikely to succeed but yet still might.
Since 2016, Centerville has consistently moved up in the overall top football program rankings while making the playoffs each season.
FizzRankings determines the dark horse for each class using a formula based on positive trajectories in both the program and head coaches recent seasons as well as the performance of the district that the team is in. No team nominated as a dark horse was listed inside the “Top 100” team rankings within the last five-year window.
Millet returns for his fifth season as head coach after leading the Bulldogs to their first winning record last season finishing 8-4. However, Centerville has advanced to the state playoffs each year during Millet’s tenure.
The Bulldogs will need to get their offense going in a hurry returning just four starters from last year. Meanwhile, the defense returns eight players from a squad that allowed 18 points per game in 2019 and posted three shutouts.
Centerville’s revised 2020 schedule, should high school football begin on October 8, has the Bulldogs slated to take on Delcambre, Ridgewood and St. Martin’s in non-district action. In league play, Millet’s squad is set to go up against some of the best squads in the state highlighted by Vermilion Catholic and Central Catholic.
The term “dark horse” seems to put pressure on certain sports teams. The spotlight is placed on the performance each and every week on when highlighted as a potential top team in a classification or district.
Centerville plays in one of the most competitive districts in Class 1A but with a veteran coach and an experienced squad, the Bulldogs could cause an upset or two should the 2020 season take place.
LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!
Others to watch: The Homer Pelicans posted their best season in over a decade with a 7-6 overall mark and an appearance in the state quarterfinals, falling to eventual state champion Oak Grove. The Pelicans return seven starters each on offense and defense. Can Homer make its mark in district play against Calvary Baptist and Haynesville? If they can manage, playoff opponents better not look past the Pelicans.
The East Iberville Tigers have been consistently improving over the last five years which was capped with a quarterfinal appearance in 2019. However, the team is now under the leadership of new head coach Justin Joseph. The transition won’t be too difficult as Joseph previously served as the team’s defensive coordinator. Look for the Tigers to continue improving and making noise in Class 1A.