CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Central football’s junior class is carrying the load this season for the Maroons and most of the players are coming off a sophomore year where they played a big part on the varsity team. Seventeen juniors will lead the way including starting quarterback George Rouse and running back Ronald Baker, who say last year’s experience is helping this time around.

“The biggest thing is just the reps,” Baker said. “Repetition makes kinda like perfect. If you keep unwrapping it eventually you’ll get better and better and better.”

“It did help me a lot. Taking mental reps, watching film, learning the plays,” Central junior offensive tackle Demian Villagomez said about his experience last season.

Improving the offense has been a big focal point for the Maroons, who scored a Big 12 worst 119 points in nine games a year ago. Central is coming off a 3-6 campaign and looking for its first playoff appearance since 2018 in current head coach Tim Turner’s first season with the program.

“I’ve got four juniors that have 11-plus varsity football games under their belt and they’re coming in as juniors,” Turner said. “I think that’s really going to help us in the long run.”

Central opens its season against defending Big 12 champ Normal West next Friday, Aug. 25.