Words: Shawn Kruhm
On January 15, Centennial boys’ lacrosse coach Nick Kellinger officially stepped down from his head coaching position. Kellinger learned earlier this year that his chances of returning to the team were slim due to his immense commitment to his job.
Although Kellinger’s coaching career at Centennial started just nine years ago, his love and commitment for the school dates back to 2002 as a student. After attending Loyola Blakefield as a freshman, he transferred to Centennial for his sophomore year. Kellinger won two state championships during his three years.
“To me, the Centennial lacrosse program is like a family,” said Kellinger. “I learned to love the game of lacrosse as a player at Centennial.”
The news of his departure left countless players confused and irritated. For many, the 2020 season would have been their third or fourth straight year playing under Kellinger. It is exceptionally difficult to experience a change in the head coaching position as a player, especially when the decision was made with the season only weeks away.
Four year Varsity athlete and Centennial senior Ty Sams struggled hearing the news during the team’s final meeting with Kellinger. He is thankful for their shared time with a lacrosse program that means so much to both of them.
“Coach Kellinger has had a tremendous impact on the lacrosse program and I believe the greatest accomplishment of his coaching was helping mold boys into young men through the sport,” said Sams. “Centennial lacrosse means brotherhood. I have some of my closest friends because of this team.”
Despite the challenges the team has faced following the departure of head coach Nick Kellinger, the Centennial boys’ lacrosse program is making tremendous progress. No more than a week after Kellinger announced his leaving, former Centennial football and lacrosse coach Ken Senisi took the head coaching position.
“When I heard that [Kellinger] had resigned, I felt this program needed some experience and stability,” stated Senisi. “In addition, the program has such a strong tradition and I wanted to return to build upon that tradition.”
Senisi began coaching at Centennial High School in 1999. He coached the Junior Varsity lacrosse team for eight years prior to joining the Marriott’s Ridge coaching staff. Senisi later returned to Centennial to assist Kellinger with coaching operations. After just a few years, Senisi joined the Marriotts Ridge Varsity staff yet again, just prior to the 2017 season.
“I am so proud to be apart of this program and it means so much to me,” said Senisi. “My vision is to build a program that is competitive and striving for county, regional, and state championships. I am passionate about developing our student athletes into hard-working, committed, responsible, and strong young men.”
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