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Center Grove Football Has Right Ingredients for 2012
August 3, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Greg Seiter
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
Center Grove High School averaged 28 points per game in 2011 and thanks to a pair of three-star offensive seniors, the Trojans, who suffered a 21-17 season-ending loss to eventual Class 5A state champion Carmel during semistate play one year ago, appear to have the right ingredients for an even stronger offense in 2012.
Tight end Nate Wozniak returns for Center Grove after hauling in 25 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns last season but this year, he’ll be joined by Southport High School transfer Skylar Lacy, a 6-foot-7, 305-pound offensive tackle who has already verbally committed to play college football at the University of Louisville.
At 6-9 and 235 pounds, Wozniak, who is ranked No. 16 in the state and a recruiting target for several major colleges including some from the Big 10, ACC and Big 12 conferences, resembles a lineman but is a formidable pass catching and scoring threat for the Trojans.
“He’s a big target with tremendous flexibility, incredible strength, great hands, speed and overall athleticism,” said Center Grove coach Eric Moore. “He’s a really good blocker, too.
“Nate is a product of the weight room. He has always worked hard but has gotten even stronger since last year. He’s a game changer.”
Wozniak, who has also been a member of Center Grove’s basketball and track teams during his high school career, started playing football when he was in fourth grade.
“I guess what I really like about the game is the fact that it’s a team sport and that you have a lot of teammates,” he said. “I also like hitting.”
Additionally, Wozniak seems to have a specific passion for his position.
“I enjoy the versatility of being a tight end which includes blocking and being on the line,” he continued. “In our system, I get to flex out and play slot or run routes as a true tight end.
“My size helps me though blocking and I have a lot of reach so it’s easier for me to catch the ball.”
Even as a newcomer to the team, Lacy is equally impressed with Wozniak.
“As a player, Nate is just ‘that guy’ that everybody talks about,” he said. “He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with.
“As a person, Nate is real laid back. He’s also given me a lot of advice on what it takes to be a football player at Center Grove.”
Lacy, who transferred from Southport midway through the academic year last season, is ranked No. 12 in the state and is among the Top 100 at his position, according to ESPN.
However, transitioning from the Cardinals’ Multiple offense to the Trojans’ Wing-T style of play has been a challenge for him.
“I struggled at the beginning and I’m still struggling a little,” he said. “To transfer from a rising program to one that is already there is just different.
“Center Grove football is the real deal.”
Lacy, who believes solid footwork is one of his many assets, also knows how to use size to his advantage.
“Skylar can cover you up real well,” he said. “He’s still learning and I know we haven’t seen the best out of him yet.”
Wozniak is glad to have Lacy as a teammate.
“I think Skylar knows what a great opportunity it is to come to Center Grove and play football,” he said. “We’ve really worked with him and pushed him. He’s gotten a lot stronger since coming here and I think he’ll fit in real well.”
Lacy, an avid video gamer who also played basketball while at Southport, believes he has a lot to prove.
“I want to show everybody that I’m the best offensive lineman in the state,” he said.
However, personal goals aside, Lacy has already adopted Center Grove’s team objectives for this season.
“We want to win conference and state. Anything else is unacceptable,” he added.
But Lacy also understands there’s more to the game than just winning.
“Football teaches you a lot of lessons, like how to overcome adversity,” he said. “You can’t hide behind anything.
“Even in life, when things are tough, sometimes you have to man up and just do what needs to be done.”
In Wozniak and Lacy, Moore realizes he has a couple of special student-athletes.
“They’re good players and good role models and they both have the world in front of them,” he said. “This is going to be a fun year.”
Photo by Mike Wolanin/VYPE Magazine