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Jaguars on the prowl

Century is off to a great start in 2012, led by an exciting football team that is 4-1 so far this year


At the beginning of the football season, Century looked almost unbeatable. “Almost” being the key word. by: PHOTO BY DAN BROOD - Century senior Xavier Mitchell goes up over Tigards Manu Rasmussen in the back corner of the end zone to pull in a touchdown on Sept. 21.

The Jaguars showcased a superpowered offense that put up big numbers against opponents. They also had a defense which at times struggled to make stops.

As the season got under way, that was not a problem. Century rolled over Lincoln 62-45, beat Mountain View 50-45 and Hillsboro 66-6. The Jags were then made to look very human against Tigard. The offense had a good performance, scoring 36 points. The defense let the team down, though, allowing 46 points and Century (4-1, 2-1 in league) dropped its only game so far this season.

“That was a tough game,” Century coach Bill Smith says. “We were ready for them and we learned a lot. They showed us some of the weaknesses that we have.

“We talked at the beginning of the season about being a mature athlete. And a mature athlete looks at their weaknesses and addresses them. We saw that Tigard was extremely fast on defense. Our pass protection wasn’t that good. They beat us on some play-action passes. We watched the film and addressed that in drills.”

The week after the loss was difficult for the Jaguar players.

“Bouncing back, it was a tough week,” Smith says. “We hurt after that. But, everybody came to practice and worked hard and we’re better now than we were then.”

Century proved that with a 37-15 win the following week over Forest Grove.

Overall, Smith likes the way his team has been playing. He sees a lot of room for growth, though.

“We’re playing really well,” Smith says. “We’re a work in progress. The kids are working very hard, they’re smart kids, they’re good kids. They come to practice every day and they have a lot of fun.

“I have a very good staff. The coaches work very hard watching film and constantly evaluating what our strengths and our weaknesses are. Each week we’re trying to get better. We’re trying to continue to do things that we do well and address the things we’re not doing well.”

Of course, one of the things that Century is still not doing well is keeping opponents off the scoreboard. That remains the biggest challenge for Smith and his staff.

Smith can see signs of improvement, though.

“What I like about our defense is that we have the desire to do better and they’ve been working hard,” Smith says. “We had a good performance against Forest Grove and played well. We have some moves in the right direction.

“We have a number of young kids on the defense who haven’t played before and they’ve made some young kids mistakes. But, we think we can do better.”

If the defense can get to the point where it can take some pressure off the offense, the sky could be the limit for Century. Smith does not want to look too far ahead, though.

“We can be better than we are,” Smith says. “What that means in relation to other schools, I don’t know. It would be a mistake to look too far down the road. Right now, we just need to keep getting better week after week.”

Volleyball

The Century volleyball team has taken its knocks in its non-league schedule this season, going 5-4. However, those losses against tough competition have prepared the Jaguars for league play.

That is where Century has shined, compiling a 9-0 record that has them sitting in first place in the conference.

Century began the season by beating Hillsboro 3-0 and Tigard 3-1. The Jaguars then lost to Gresham 2-1. They beat Tualatin 2-0 before losing consecutive matches against Roseburg (2-1) and Jesuit (2-1). Century then beat West Linn 2-0, Forest Grove 3-0 and Newburg 3-0. The Jaguars then lost to Tigard 2-1.

Since then, though, they have not lost, defeating Glencoe 3-0, Tualatin 3-0, Canby 2-0, Sprague 2-1, Milwaukie/Milwaukie Academy of the Arts 2-0, McMinnville 3-0, Hillsboro 3-0 and Tigard 3-0.

Boys Soccer

Century has struggled to win during its preseason, but they have been playing non-conference opponents tough, earning more than their share of draws in compiling a 1-2-4 record.

The Jaguars’ offense has struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, but the defense has been very solid. Century began the season with a 1-1 draw against Canby, then drew 0-0 against McNary.

The Jags suffered their first loss of the season when they fell to Gresham 2-1. They bounced back with their first win of the season and their best offensive performance with a 2-0 victory over Putnam.

Century then drew against Centennial and The Dalles Wahtonka with a score of 1-1 in each match. Century then fell to Lincoln 2-1.

Girls Soccer

The Jaguars girls soccer team has been inconsistent this preseason. Century has compiled several extremely convincing victories. But, they have been the victim of blowouts themselves.

The Jaguars have scored 23 goals this season. That number is misleading, though — 18 of those goals have come in two matches. Century has given up 12 goals thus far, but that number is also misleading. The Jaguars gave up 11 of those goals in two matches and have pitched four shutouts.

Century began the season with a 7-0 win over McKay, but was then blown out 7-1 against Lake Oswego. The Jaguars then defeated Dallas 1-0 before falling in consecutive matches to Liberty (1-0) and Silverton (4-0).

Century bounced back with a 3-0 win over the Dalles Wahtonka before an unbelievable, unreal, check your eyes 11-0 victory over Madison.