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Younger, hungrier Catholic Central team hopes to repeat

The Cougars are coming off their third state title in the last four years.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Having won three out of the last four state titles, one might think there’s some super-secret formula to Catholic Central’s success. Sorry to disappoint but head coach Todd Kolster says that’s not the case.

“There are no shortcuts, there are no secrets,” Kolster, entering his 10th year as Cougars coach explains. “At the end of the day, it’s out working people, out preparing people, and it’s the ability finish.”

And over the last few seasons, no one has been able to do all those things better than the Cougars. Since 2016, they’ve gone an amazing 51 and 4. But a new year, brings new challenges as a well as a lot of new players who need to get up to speed.

“This is the least experienced group we have returned in probably six years or so,” Kolster admits.

Of the team's 41 players, only 12 of seniors and only six are returning starters.

But here’s the good news: they still have their three big impact players .

“We should be rolling this year,” says junior quarterback Joey Silveri.

Confident words from the all-state star. He’s joined by receiver Jace Williams and strong safety Nolan Ziegler. All dedicated themselves this off-season to the cause of repeating as state champs by working out and putting on a lot of good weight.

“The whole winter I didn’t have any sports to focus on, so I just tried my best to get ready for football,” Silveri said.

Their path to another title may not be easy but Kolster says it’s best not to count out his Cougars.

“The thing I always tell them is, you get in the playoffs, (and) you never know what can happen,” Kolster said.

Sound advice that’s paid off with tears of joy, season after season.

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