While the preseason Super 25 football rankings won’t come out for a few weeks, this is one of a series on teams that could contend in the Super 25 high school football rankings next season. We previously looked at De La Salle (Concord, Calif.), South Panola (Batesville, Miss.), Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.), Miami (Fla.) Central, Chandler, Ariz, DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), Allen, Texas; Cedar Hill, Texas, Webb City, Mo., Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala., Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) and Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.).
Team: Centennial (Corona, Calif.).
2014 finish: The Huskies went 12-3 and finished as the CIF Open Division Bowl runner-up and as the No. 24 team in the Super 25 rankings. They fared as well as anyone did against eventual No. 1 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.), losing 43-42.
Tradition: Centennial has won one state title, in 2008, and seven CIF titles.
2015 schedule: The Huskies open with East (Salt Lake City, Utah) on Aug. 28 and play Serra (Gardena, Calif.) on Sept. 5 at Oceanside.
Top returnees (years listed are for next school year): Senior WR Javon McKinley caught 97 passes for 2,062 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. Quarterback Anthony Catalano threw for 2,009 yards and 21 touchdowns last season while platooning. RB J.J. Taylor ran for 1,921 yards and 27 touchdowns. The team’s secondary is solid behind Chacho Ulloa and two other returning senior starters in Camryn Bynum and Kentrell Love. The top returning offensive lineman is Cal commit Daniel Juarez. Sammonte Bonner, after rushing 43 times for 227 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff defeat of St. John Bosco (Bellflower), is poised to have a breakout year.
Toughest to replace: Wide receiver Greyson Bankhead, now at Cal, had 73 catches for 1,045 yards and 11 touchdowns last season.
Top newcomer: Junior defensive back Reggie Whitfield, who transferred from Santiago (Corona).
Outlook: The Huskies look strong in a lot of areas, particularly on offense, with Taylor and the combination of Catalano to McKinley continuing. The defense is solid and teams will have a tough time passing on the Huskies. The big question for coach Matt Logan is how his offensive line rebounds from the loss of four seniors, including three starters.
“Those guys were the core and the captain-type kids,” Logan said. “That is what is going to be tough to replace. We have a good amount of skill players and we have three of our four starters back in the secondary. We also return only one defensive lineman, so that’s a concern, particularly in our division where so many of the schools are bigger that us with the size of their players.”