Centralia Rotarians Hear About CHS Orphans Football Team

Rotary Club
August 27, 2019

The Centralia Rotary Club held their meeting on Monday, August 19. The presentation was made by Coach Bob Brenneisen of Centralia High School. Coach Brenneisen, who has lived in Centralia for eight years, is serving his fourth year as head Centralia High School Orphans Football Coach and his first year as Assistant Principal at CHS.

Brenneisen related that Centralia was 1 – 8 overall and 1 – 4 for Conference games during the 2018 season and would like to improve that this year. He has been impressed by how the seniors this year have been taking the initiative on their training. He likes seeing the students take the reins regarding their training in the weight room and on the field as it makes them better players and may help win more games this year. He also said the junior class is strong this year.
He related that the players are also taking their academics seriously, with 3 of the 15 seniors in the top 15 of their classes. James Veller, for example, maintains a 4.0 GPA. Additionally, Coach Brenneisen highly encourages the athletes to volunteer for community activities and events. Most recently, the team volunteered for traffic duty for the Centralia Balloon Fest.
Brenneisen is excited to start the season on August 30 with the traditional non-conference opener being against Salem in the Shriners game. In addition to the players, his staff is key to the team’s success. In a few years, the Districts will be modified to have Centralia play more schools to the north, like Mattoon and Decatur. This change was supposed to happen in 2021, but looks like it will be delayed until approximately 2022. The Shriners game against Salem is not expected to change.
Coach Brenneisen related how he got into coaching. He played football in high school, his dad was a coach, and his younger brothers were also players. He was recruited at Southern Illinois University by Coach Jerry Kill, who had a positive influence on his career. He is continuing to coach as he also pursues a career in school administration.
In answering a question from a Rotarian about how he plans what to do against different teams, Coach Brenneisen explained that there are many ways to find out how other schools play, especially now that in the near future there will be many new and larger schools in our District. From watching online videos of their plays to analyzing their historical tactics, he can get a “feel” for how they might play against the Orphans. Some change up their tactics frequently, while others stay true to their traditions.
The ideal blend of students would be to have 15 from each class for a total of 60 in the team. This year there are 45 on the team with only 3 sophomores, but 16 freshmen. Brenneisen scouts from 8th grade classes in the CYFL to fill the roster.
There will be no Rotary Club meeting on Monday, September 2 in observance of Labor Day