Coach: Greg Dempsey, 12th year
Last season: 8-4, 5-2 TRAC
Returning letter winners: 15
Returning starters: Offense 8, defense 3
Schemes: Multiple spread/Multiple odd fronts
Top players: Seniors Amir Edwards, 5-11, 200, TB; Jayme Thompson, 6-2, 185, S; Keith Towbridge, 6-4, 250, TE; Jeff Dew, 6-3, 290, C; Jon Perrin, 6-0, 315, NT; Ian Butler, 6-0, 220, LB; Michael Anderson, 6-2, 200, WR; Cedric Gray, 5-7, 180, TB. Juniors DeShone Kizer, 6-5, 210, QB; Derich Weiland, 5-9, 180, SB.
Outlook: The Irish are loaded with returning experience at the skill positions, a group headed by Kizer (1,226 passing yards), Edwards (1,244 rushing yards, 23 TDs) and Towbridge on offense, and the Ohio State-bound Thompson (73 tackles) on defense.
Central Catholic was picked to place second in the TRAC, and its title hopes will depend greatly on the ability of the new defensive personnel to become effective starters. Under Dempsey (104-35 record) the Irish have made 10 of their 13 playoff appearances, including the past eight straight seasons. They were City League champions four consecutive years (2005-08), a run that began with a Division II state playoff title.
"We have good numbers and depth," Dempsey said. "We have good speed at skill positions on both sides of the ball. We need the inexperienced players on the offensive line and on defense to mature quickly. Hopefully we can stay focused and healthy, and compete for the TRAC title."
2012 CENTRAL CATHOLIC SCHEDULE
Sep. 7-at Perrysburg
Sep. 14-at Clay
Sep. 28-at Fremont Ross
Oct. 5-at Lima Senior
Oct. 12-St. John's
Oct. 19-St. Francis at UT