Wisconsin Sports

Highlight Zone Countdown: Central Red Raiders

Ambrose, Alvarado hope to replace big senior class

Highlight Zone Countdown: Central Red Raiders

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - A whole lot of talent graduated from Central, but if you ask Red Raiders coach Tony Servais, there's a lot of talent ready to step in.

"I think they're going to fly under the radar a little bit," Servais said. "I know that Logan is one of the favorites, along with Holmen. I think some teams are going to look at us and say, well they lost 27 seniors or whatever and maybe the guys behind them aren't very good. I don't think that's the case. I think some of these juniors and seniors this year are ready to play."

The Red Raiders return only two starters on offense (both play on the line) and two on defense. Servais is still figuring out the puzzle of putting everyone in the right position to succeed.

"The biggest thing is confidence. You got to go out and be confident in yourself and your teammates," said center/linebacker Adam Bendel.

"As a team, we need to stick together and have the confidence that we're going to be a good team," junior quarterback/defensive back Waylon Alvarado said.

"The younger guys are going to have to step up a lot. Having a couple sophomores playing with us, they're going to have to step up and play. That's going to be one of our keys to success," senior Jerred Ambrose said.

Ambrose isn't just one of the veterans; he does it all. He plays running back, defensive back, kicks, punts and even could get a few reps under center. Believe it or not, he didn't start playing high school football until last season.

"Some of the seniors last year that I was good friends with, like Mitchell [Johnson-Martin], he influenced me to come out. Might as well do it, get you tougher, stuff like that so I came out," he said.

"He's a very, very talented kid, nice size too," said Servais. "I'd classify him more as an athlete than just one position."

"I was really excited when he said he was going to join because I knew he was a great athlete and he was going to be a great key piece to our offense," Alvarado said.

"Running it and realizing he's going to be there every Friday night, it's going to be great."

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