After graduating a giant senior class that left only three returning starters, the undefeated 2016 Carlisle Indians are proving that starting fresh doesn't mean starting over.
"We were predicted to go 2-8 coming into the season. We just worked our butts off in the off-season and just went week to week," said Tristan Craig, Carlisle quarterback.
"It's all about having heart. Every team, they out skilled us and were bigger than us. But we had more heart and never gave up," said Gerald Turner, Carlisle receiver and safety.
"I'm pretty old school, and with these guys I just let them do their thing and it's worked. I told them you can do that until you mess up and then you're going to do it my way. Right now we're 9-0 so I'm just kinda staying out the way," said Rocky Baker, Carlisle head coach.
One win away from their second 10-0 season in the last six years, the Indians are a force to fear on both sides of the ball. With junior quarterback Tristan Craig and his multiple offensive weapons just shy of 400 points this season, the defense has also held up their end of the deal allowing just under 8 points a ball game.
"Gerald, Jay, Mason, all the guys can tote the rock and everything like that. You can really count on all your other teammates to. You don't have to worry about doing anything by yourself," said Craig.
"Our defensive line, they just do what they have to do. Put in work for our team and it's perfect," said Turner.
If the Indians can pull off a perfect ten, it wouldn't be the first for Coach Baker. But it would be the first with his son Clay as his assistant head coach and offensive guru.
"It's fun, I'm just blessed. I got to coach my own son here, and we won a state championship in baseball. To have my other son here with me, to be the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator and for us to have a good season like we are it's a great thing," said Coach Baker.
"Great experience, just getting to be out here and learn from him everyday. Getting to see his preparation, the way he goes about practice, and the way he works over the weekend. It's just been a real great experience," said Clay Baker, Carlisle assistant coach and offensive coordinator.
Unexpected success, great chemistry, and a family affair; if that's not enough for you here is one last hook. A win on Friday, would also give Coach Baker his hundredth win as head of the blue and yellow.
"We've been talking about that. We have to get Coach Baker his hundredth win he is going to remember that thing forever. We just really want to get it for him and it's really important for us," said Craig.