Last season’s record: 8-2
Returning starters: 5 on offense, 6 on defense
First Game: Aug. 26 at Napoleon 7 p.m.
Offense was the name of the game for Columbia a year ago, as the team scored more than 31 points en route to its 8-2 record.
While coach Josh Kubiak said replacing center Jacob Taylor has been one of the key focuses in camp, there are plenty of other weapons back in the mix.
“We return a lot of good skilled players,” Kubiak said simply.
Running back Micah Raby is back after rushing for 1,579 yards and 19 touchdowns on 175 carries in 2015.
“He’s going to be the focal point of our offense,” Kubiak said. “Most of what we do will be based around him.”
Sophomore Gehrig Elliot will be a multi-purpose back, even seeing time at quarterback.
“We should be able to score points this year, that’s for sure,” Kubiak said. “One of the strengths we have is speed. We’re going to be quicker and faster. We just have to get the ball to the guys in space.”
While the offense hummed right along in 2015, the defense wasn’t too shabby either, allowing just 15 points per game during the regular season.
Six starters are back for the Golden Eagles, including three of the team’s five linemen.
“The whole defense we run is based on keeping the linebackers free,” Kubiak said. “We have some experience on the line which will help in that regard.”
While he spoke early in the second week of camp, Kubiak noted the youth the defense will have.
“We’re young, and they are lacking some of that aggression we’ll need,” he said. “We have to shake free of that.”
“One of the main things we’ve talked about is continuing the success we’ve had going here recently,” Kubiak said. “We want to compete in every single game.”
Something to think about:
Columbia Central’s eight wins in 2015 surpassed the total (7) the team had in the previous three seasons since making the postseason in 2011.
The Golden Eagles are looking to make the playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time in program history, and have a great shot of doing so considering just two teams on their schedule (Ida and Hillsdale) qualified for the playoffs a year ago.