CENTREVILLE, Mich. — First-year head coach Jerry Schultz has led the Centreville football program to new heights this season.
"When I saw the potential this summer, just doing workouts with no contact, I knew we had a good shot," Schultz said.
On Saturday, the Bulldogs beat Sand Creek to win the first regional championship in program history, as they now turn their sights towards a potential trip to Ford Field.
"To finally be able to make history, it's a big deal to all of us and the community," said senior Matthew Lorencz.
The Centreville senior class has been working hard to make history like this.
"That's the dream growing up, is getting to varsity and pushing the limits of what the town thinks is possible," added senior Gunner Bunning, "this town deserves it. Centreville loves their football and they've been waiting a long time for something like this."
In the loaded Southwest 10 with Mendon and Cassopolis, not many gave Centreville a chance to even win their conference, which they did. Now, they continue to prove those critics wrong.
"At the beginning of the year, we were picked to finish fourth in our conference," Schultz said, "it's something I like to remind the guys before we take the field, 'hey, just a reminder you're the fourth best team in our conference.' It always seems to get them fired up," he added.
Of course, playing football in January isn't easy on the players but Coach Schultz apparently doesn't mind after wearing a polo and shorts for Saturday's win in the freezing temperatures.
"We're all wearing thick layers and under heaters and he's standing there in short sleeves and shorts, it's very surprising," laughed Lorencz.
Schultz says in his high school days, players were not allowed to wear sleeves and that's stuck with him in his coaching days.
"I'm very superstitious," Schultz laughed, "when we beat Reading and I was in shorts and a t-shirt, I was like, 'well, can't change this now.'"
Safe to say Centreville head coach Jerry Schultz was pretty amped after the Bulldogs 8-0 win & first-ever regional championship. 😂 pic.twitter.com/HXgHHPd7NP— Zach Harig (@FOX17Zach) January 9, 2021
Despite the Centreville defense registering six shutouts in just nine games this season, not a single player on the roster made All-State, which is motivation for the team.
"I think it comes down to nobody knows who Centreville is," Schultz added, "we've had success in the past couple of years, but it always stops in districts. To have the success we're having, I think we're hopefully putting our name on the map."
On Thursday afternoon, Clarkston Everest, the Bulldogs scheduled opponent for Friday night's state semifinal game, announced their forfeiture due to COVID-19. The Bulldogs will get set to play for their first-ever state championship next week at Ford Field.
Everest Collegiate has forfeited the D8 state semifinal game. Centreville advances to Ford Field. https://t.co/OM7hANDRgG— FOX 17 Blitz (@FOX17Blitz) January 14, 2021
"It's just another game," Bunning said, "you have to come to practice, have good practices, watch film and go through the processes just like any other game."