Jeremy Cenci: Brentwood football's 'Ironman'
TribLIVE Sports Videos
In three years of Brentwood varsity football, Jeremy Cenci never has missed a snap. Literally.
Cenci, the Spartans' starting center since his sophomore year, handles all the snapping duties, and mans the middle on defense.
He is Brentwood's “Ironman.”
“I can honestly say in three years that Jeremy Cenci has never missed a practice,” Kevin Kissel, Brentwood's head coach, said. “He's never missed an offensive snap in three years.”
Even after fracturing his hand during last year's 25-14 loss to Imani Christian in Week 3, Cenci wouldn't come off the field.
Cenci made a tackle from his linebacker spot and smacked his hand off a helmet. An x-ray the next day showed it was fractured, but it wasn't enough to put Cenci on the sideline.
“I just like playing so much I try to play through what I can,” Cenci said. “I got an x-ray and it was just fractured.”
Cenci wore a playing cast since the injury was to his non-snapping hand. Brentwood finished 7-4 overall and made it to the WPIAL Class A quarterfinals, while Cenci earned Black Hills Conference all-star honors at center.
In nearly two decades as the Spartans' field boss, Kissel has seen many players come and go. But he believes Cenci is one of the best — if not the best — centers he ever has coached at Brentwood.
“He's without a doubt one of the best I've ever coached,” said Kissel, a former offensive lineman at the University of Maryland.
Cenci is the keystone to both the offense and defense for the Spartans, making all the calls on both sides of the line.
At 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, Cenci isn't big by offensive line standards, but his quickness and strong lower body give him an advantage in the trenches.
“Offensive line (play) is a lot of leverage and a lot of angles,” Kissel said. “He's never out of position. He latches on to somebody and stays on them and doesn't let them go.”
Cenci is willing to put in the extra time studying film, correcting mistakes with his coaches, and learning what all the other players are doing on each play.
“Once I learn what I'm doing, I try to take the time to learn what everyone else is doing,” Cenci said. “If someone happens to be misaligned or doesn't know what they're doing, I can be there to align them or tell them what to do.”
Not a vocal guy, Cenci likes to lead by example. But Kissel says Cenci's not afraid to speak up if he sees something he doesn't like.
“I've seen him tell guys forcefully that he'd like a better effort out of them,” Kissel said. “Kids respond to Jeremy because they see the effort he puts out. If he gets on them for not giving effort, they know it's time to get their rear in gear.”
Cenci sums up his work ethic to a “winning attitude,” and hates the feeling of losing.
Sitting at 4-4 overall and 4-3 in league play with two games left, Brentwood is fighting for its playoff life in the tough Black Hills Conference.
Cenci summed up the team's WPIAL playoff approach:
“We'll take it one game at a time,” he said. “Once we get to playoffs, we're going to worry about it (then).”
Justin Criado is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Arrested FIFA officials face extradition to United States
- Energy investors push green tactics
- Greek debt fears, surge in dollar nip at stock market
- Rossi: Steelers’ tarnished Bell rings true
- Pirates notebook: Struggling Polanco held out of starting lineup
- Arrest made in 2014 case of Blawnox man found dead in Oakland
- Pittsburgh Mayor Peduto in Cuba on manufacturing trade mission
- Air rifle incidents on the rise, experts say
- Tomlin gives suggestion Steelers won’t be shy about going for 2
- Steelers’ Brown: Attendance ‘never a doubt’ for offseason workouts
- Steelers notebook: LB Harrison open for larger role