I use AF-C but with back button focus. I then put the center focus point on my focus area, hit the back button to focus, then let go of the back button, recompose, and shoot. Sounds like a lot but after you get used to it, it is automatic and works out well.
If you use back button focus and just touch and release the back button, AF-C is like AF-S.
I can't remember where I read it, but I've read multiple articles saying that the center focus point is considerably better than any other focus point. You can do some tests to check that out, but it sounds like your results already bear that out.