FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) - The 2021 season has a special meaning for the Clinton Prairie's football seniors.
In an ideal world, the Gophers would suit up alongside their teammate Zach Caldwell for one final fall campaign. Instead, they will carry a flag onto the field bearing his number.
Caldwell died in a tragic accident in 2017 (*Correction* updated from 2013). The CP Seniors will dedicate this season to playing in his honor.
"Every practice, every game we always know he's with us," said senior quarterback Drew Blacker. "We just want to battle for him because we know that's what he would want us to do."
Head coach Raymond Jones knows just how important Caldwell's legacy is to his team.
"We're going to do everything we can to remember him and make him be a part of this group as much as we can."
Clinton Prairie will hold a ceremony for Caldwell during the Gophers' senior night, scheduled for October 8th versus Carroll.
The Gophers weathered a tumultuous 2020 season. Finishing with a (3-8) overall record and an early exit during the state tournament wasn't expected last fall.
The CP roster will return 80% of its players that made it through the adversity 2020 brought. The Gophers will utilize summer training camp to find a new starting quarterback, after standout Kade Osborn graduated.
Clinton Prairie will play five of its first six games in Clinton County, giving fans an opportunity to see the Gophers after a year of limited spectators.
CLINTON PRAIRIE SCHEDULE:
Aug. 20 - vs. Wes-Del
Aug. 27 - at Frankfort
Sept. 3- at Clinton Central
Sept. 10 - vs. Tri-Central
Sept. 17 - at Sheridan
Sept. 24 - vs. Delphi
Oct. 1 - at Taylor
Oct. 8 - vs. Carroll
Oct. 15 - vs. Eastern (Greentown)