CALDWELL - The Caldwell program is celebrating a special anniversary this season. One hundred years ago, during the 1913 season, the Redskins finished 6-0 and were named national champions.
''They were unscored upon, untied and unbeaten,'' coach Josh Perkins, Caldwell's all-time leading scorer, said. ''They considered them national champs. We're trying to give 100 years of that back to (this community).
''One of the guys on the team was buried here and on his tombstone, it says 'left in.' It's pretty cool. There's a lot of tradition here and we have to fulfill our end.''
To do that, Perkins knows his team will have to improve on its 2-8 record from a season ago.
''Last year we had a lot of injuries and had to play a lot of young kids,'' Perkins said. ''But, we get a lot (of players) back.
''We competed well, but now we want to go from competing well to competing to win, instead of competing and coming up short. It's hard to play when you have seven or eight freshmen on the field. Great experience, though. They retained a lot.''
On offense, the Redskins welcome back nine of 11 starters.
''All we replace on offense is a tackle and a tight end,'' Perkins said. ''Other than that, everyone's back. That's pretty good.''
At quarterback, senior Johnny Carpenter (6-foot, 165 pounds) is back after suffering a broken hand that ended his season after Week 2, as well as sophomore Tanner Clark (6-0, 165), who saw playing time in Carpenter's absence.
''We'll have a two-headed monster. It's really like a 1A and 1B,'' Perkins said. ''One good thing for us is, we have like six quarterbacks, but probably only two that are ready. The rest are more jayvee style. We have a lot of depth there.''
The Redskins will also have depth in the backfield as they welcome back All-OVAC senior Andrew Minosky (5-9, 165) and sophomore Bricker Lori (5-9, 180), who rushed for nearly 600 yards. Senior Kam Rayner (5-10, 150) will also see time at running back.
''I think now he's played every position on the field,'' Perkins said of Rayner. ''He's just a guy you can count on. He has great quickness and can adapt easy with the changes.''
Senior Justin Hardesty (5-10, 150) will move to tight end after a season in the backfield.
''He was our best blocking back, so why not move him to tight end and let him mix it up a bit?''
Junior Tanner Baker (6-3, 190) will also see time at tight end as well as reciever.
Other wideouts on the roster include junior Jaden Border (5-10, 140), sophomore Caleb Heller (6-0, 155), and freshman Mac Carlson (5-10, 140).
''We can do a lot of things at recievers,'' Perkins noted. ''Our backs could be recievers ... Hardesty, if you want to spread the field, he can go to reciever. We've got a lot of options, which is a good thing.''
The offensive line will be made up of seniors Alexia Cubas (5-11, 215), Andy Lori (6-0, 150), Zach Miller (6-2, 230) and Austin Schockling (6-2, 275), as well as juniors Jamieson Ackley (5-9, 180), Christian Guy (6-0, 250), Austin Guiler (5-10, 165) and Aaron Powers (5-8, 180). Underclassmen that could see some playing time are sophomores Austin Cobb (6-0, 170), Trevor Oakley (5-8, 240), Clay Poling (5-10, 200) and Chance Rucker (6-2, 250), along with freshmen Sheldon Archer (6-0, 190), Matt Bowen (5-10, 190), Devin Powers (5-8, 160) and Simon Shuster (6-1, 270).
''Last year, fortunately with our offensive line, there were only two guys that played D-line,'' Perkins said. ''The rest of our offensive line, they came running onto the field with our offense. We were fresh. We're trying to emulate that this year because it did help. If we can get only a couple linemen going both ways, it helps you.''
Guy and Schockling will handle tackle and nose tackle duties with Bricker Lori and Rayner playing on the ends.
The linebacking corps will consist of Cubas, Cobb, who started his freshman season in the same position, Minosky and Hardesty.
Clark will return to his saftey spot to lead a unit that includes cornerbacks Carpenter, Heller and junior Jaden Border (5-10, 140).
''In the secondary, we have some good expeirence. Tanner Clark was our starting saftey last year as a freshman. He made all the checks in the secondary. We have a corner, Johnny Carpenter, who didn't start for us last year because he was hurt and was out for the season, but he started there as a sophomore. At the other corner, you have Caleb Heller, who also started as a freshman.
''Our defense will adjust to what (other teams) want to do. Through film study, through scouting. We're going to find what they do best, and we're going to stop it. Wether it's their best reciever, best players ... we'll have a plan to stop it. We can run a 46, we can go into a 4-4 ... we have a lot of options of what we can do on defense by checking what we do.''
Perkins, who will be assisted by the same staff as last year, Brandon Crock, Ryan Crock, Jensen Croucher, Jerry Hamilton, Roman Lori, and Shane Rucker, hasn't overlooked a single opponent on the 2013 schedule.
''When you're 2-8, you better circle everybody. I promise you this: we've always been a team that other teams have put a bullseye on just because Caldwell football has been around. We're looking at 110, 115 years that there's been football here. That's pretty impressive. We've always had that bullseye whether we're 10-0 or 2-8. The only team we're worried about is Newcomertown. That's all you can be worried about.''
John Carpenter, Alexi Cubas, Justin Hardesty, Andy Lori, Zach Miller, Andrew Minosky, Kameron Rayner, Austin Schockling.
Jamieson Ackley, Tanner Baker, Jaden Border, Austin Guiler, Christian Guy, Aaron Powers.
Tanner Clark, Austin Cobb, Michael Haga, Caleb Heller, David Ivey, Bricker Lori, Austin Mettler, Trevor Oakley, Clay Poling, Kolby Rayner, Jack Ridenour, Chance Rucker.
Jason Allen, Sheldon Archer, Matt Bowen, Mac Carlson, Cody Davis, Casey Farnese, Dalton Ivey, Eric Myers, Devin Powers, Brennan Saling, Adam Schockling, Simon Shuster.