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|CLASS 4A | REGION 2
|HEAD COACH: Michael Kelly|
|Sept 11||Heritage Academy||Home|
|Oct 30||South Pontotoc*||Home|
|Nov 6||Itawamba AHS*||Away|
CALEDONIA, Miss. (WCBI) — Following an improved 2019 season, Caledonia football is ready to compete.
Caledonia returns with a lot of confidence following a 5-6 season and the team’s first playoff appearance since 2016.
Now, Caledonia looks to build on that positive momentum during the upcoming season.
“Over the last two years we’ve made a lot of progress,” head coach Michael Kelly said. “Our young man have put in a lot of work and committment into this. We hope it pays off. We’re blessed to be out here continuing to play football with everything that’s going on. If we’re fortunate enough to make it to the football field we have a lot of experience, a lot of returning players. We hope that confidence pays off and we turn that into productivity on the field and can continue to move our program in the right direction.”
Caledonia loses some key players at skill positions to graduation such as former quarterback Brandon Edmondson and wide receiver Anthony Triplett.
However, Kelly says his team has more experience elsewhere and will look to some younger players to fill critical roles.
“We’ve probably got more experience in returning players in our line of scrimmage, offensive and defensive line players, but we still have a good mix of skill players that have played several reps over the last couple of years. We’ve got a lot of key young guys that are going to step in as some of those skill players. They have all the tools and abilities to do what we need them to do they just need a lot of reps. They need a lot of practice reps, they need a lot of game reps but we’re excited to see where they’re going to take us in the future.”
“I feel like our defense is really strong,” senior tackle Alex Mathews said. “We get to the ball, fly around, make plays. Just a defensively sound team.”
While most teams we’re forced to miss spring workouts because of COVID-19, Caledonia opted to hold spring practice in January.
Although it seemed weird at the time, Caledonia sees that those January practices are now paying off.
“We got a lot of weird looks when we first did it, but now that everything had got delayed and stopped it’s a big benefit for us. Those young kids we spoke of earlier were able to get ten, eleven practices under their belt so they’ve got some live reps. They’ve got the terminology and communication. They’ve been in the locker room, been in a little bit of the war and contact. So it really helps us as a program. We’re not 15 days behind as per se some of these other programs who missed their spring training.”
“I feel like it gave us a bit of a confidence boost, because we already got it out the way,” junior DL Antwan Adkins said. “We should be more prepared than other team’s that didn’t get to do it.”
Caledonia is putting a lot of emphasis on its younger players to step and be physical come the first Friday night of the season.
“I want our kids to be the most physical team when we step on the field on the first Friday night. I believe our style of play takes care of itself, but our young men have to go out there and produce that. They have to do it. We can talk about being physical. We can practice being physical, but we have to learn to go play physical each and every play and on Friday nights. I believe that gives us the chance to be successful.”
“Just show them that we mean business,” senior S/SB Loren Cox said. “Being aggressive. Going out there and hitting them in the mouth. We’re not playing around or anything. We’re out here to set a tone. Just go out there and win ballgames as physical and as fast as we can.”
Caledonia faces its first test against Amory on September 4th.