Coach: Travis Peeples, 1st season
2014 record: 2-8 overall, 1-4 in 4A Mountain League (missed Class 4A playoffs)
Players to watch: Mike Retland, 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, RB/LB, sr.; Jordan Chambers, 6-0, 200, OL/LB, sr.; Eviahn Scott, 6-6, 270, DE/OL, sr.; Sisco Aranda, 5-9, 175, RB/LB, jr.; Dominick Jackson, 6-0, 180, RB/DB, sr.; Kirk Hines, 5-11, 225, RB/LB, sr.; RJ Davis, 6-3, 240, DL/OL, sr.; Tarrell Gissendanner Jr., 6-2, 175, WR, jr.; Jalil Grimes, 5-10, 165, QB, jr.; Taevon Jordan, 5-9, 175, RB/DB, sr.
2015 outlook: The Trojans have a new coach in Travis Peeples, who spent last season as the offensive coordinator at Greeley West after coming to Colorado from Florida, who was encouraged by the work he saw from his team over the summer and said he is building the team’s foundation on “Old School” principles of being physical and disciplined. Aurora Central is coming off three consecutive 2-8 seasons, but Peeples sees enough athleticism to boost the win column significantly this season, even as it plays again in the tough 4A Mountain League with Denver South, Standley Lake, Wheat Ridge, Golden and George Washington. Senior Mike Retland is a returning second team all-league selection as a defensive lineman and will carry the ball a bunch as well as one of the main options in a large rotation of running backs, which also includes senior Taevon Jordan and junior Sisco Aranda. Junior Jalil Grimes takes over quarterbacking duties in a multi-set pro offense and finds a line in front of him with size and toughness in seniors Eviahn Scott (6-foot-6, 270 pounds), RJ Davis (6-3, 240) and Jordan Chambers (6-0, 200), who also play key roles on the defensive side. Holdover defensive coordinator Jamarr Kerney is running a 3-3 stack defense with a blitzing emphasis and has some players who can get to the passer, as well as players on the perimeter such as senior Dominick Jackson who can hawk the ball. Schedule: Aurora Central’s non-league schedule includes Aurora Public Schools rival Hinkley — which is now in a different league — in Zero Week, plus Thornton, Sand Creek and Harrison, the same group of teams against which it went 1-3 over 2014. The Trojans’ lone win in five Mountain League games last season came against George Washington and they lost the other four games by a combined score of 178-28.
Schedule: Home games in all caps (played at Aurora Public Schools Stadium) — Friday, Aug. 28 — HINKLEY, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 11 — THORNTON, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 18 — SAND CREEK, 6 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 25 — at Harrison, 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 3 — at Adams City, 1 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 9 — vs. Golden at North Area Athletic Complex, 4 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 16 — vs. George Washington at All-City Stadium, 6 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 23 — vs. Wheat Ridge at Jeffco Stadium, 4 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 29 — DENVER SOUTH, 6 p.m.; Thursday, Nov. 5 — STANDLEY LAKE, 6 p.m.
Courtney Oakes is Aurora Sentinel Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel