Last season, the 1A Colonels went 1-10 (after Green County forfeited their contest due to an ineligible competitor).
Caverna is looking to continue building its football program, and coach Eric Lasley, who is heading into his third year at the helm of the program, said he is excited about his returning players.
“We’re senior-heavy this year,” he said. “So I think that will be a bonus for us.
“It’s my third year, so they know what to expect from me. So I think we’ll be OK.”
Senior starting quarterback Drew Rhodes is “definitely our leader,” Lasley said.
As a junior, Rhodes threw 115 passes for 45 completions, collecting 599 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions. Rhodes also caught 10 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. On defense, he made seven solo tackles.
“This is our third year together, so we’re not changing anything,” Lasley said of him and Rhodes. “He knows what I expect from him, and we’ve done a lot of talking in the offseason, and he’s ready to accept that role and step up.”
Senior Zyier Yates is also another leader, the Colonel coach added.
Last season, Yates rushed for 128 yards on 37 attempts with two touchdowns. He also caught 12 passes for 155 yards and one touchdown. On defense, Yates caught an interception and made 10 solo tackles.
Lasley said senior Mark Webb “is definitely going to be an asset for us this year.”
As a junior, Webb rushed for 146 yards on 54 attempts, and caught 13 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, Webb made 11 solo tackles.
After two seasons as the Colonel coach, Lasley said “if you looked at it by wins and losses, people will say we haven’t really progressed.”
“But actually we have,” he said. “We’re a lot more disciplined now than we were. Our numbers have kind of decreased, but I think that’s because we’ve weeded out the guys that really don’t want to dedicate themselves to playing.
“So I’m pretty excited about who we have.”
Lasley said he is also happy to add Logan Baker as defensive coordinator.
“Couldn’t ask for a better pick,” he said. “I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’m just really glad to have him.
“He brings a lot of energy, and he brings a lot of knowledge. He’s a great mind to have. I just couldn’t be happier with having him.”
The Colonels open their season at home against 3A Hart County.