If you could look up ‘team player’ in the dictionary, you’d probably find a picture of Heavener senior Garrick Caldwell. Start with how his coach, Micah Baker, describes him.
“He’s just a solid kid on and off the field. He does whatever you ask of him, and his academics and character have never been a problem.”
During his time as a Wolf, Caldwell has played tight end, defensive end and linebacker but this year Baker has him slotted to be the Heavener running back as well as his defensive duties.
“There’s a big difference between where he was last year and where he is this year. He’s a lot faster and stronger and has been working hard in the weight room,” said Baker.
At 6-4 and 200 pounds, Caldwell will be an imposing force for opposition defenses but the move from catching to running the ball is one that Caldwell takes in stride.
“The move to running back is a little different than the other positions I’ve played and I think being there will help the team a little more. I don’t have a specific goal in mind as a running back. I just want to go no matter how many guys I have trying to tackle me. I won’t stop until the whistle blows and how ever many yards I end up with is fine.”
Caldwell and fellow senior Elijah Vaughn are expected to be the vocal leaders of the team according to Baker.
“He’s already taken a couple of the young guys under his wing, making sure they get to make it to morning workouts and that they take it seriously,” said the Wolves head coach.
That attitude is important to Caldwell who feels he hasn’t always had that kind of support.
“Coming up through the ranks we had some good leaders and those who were just there to play football and didn’t really lead. So I’m trying to be one of those that helps the young guys make the team better. When I was young, I know it was sometimes hard for me to get to workouts because both of my parents worked and I felt kind of useless. So I try to pick up kids who need a ride so they can make the workouts,” said Caldwell.
In addition to football, Garrick is thinking about returning to basketball this year and he is also a power lifter.
“I’m hoping to get to 405 squatting before school starts. I qualified for state last year, but Covid wiped out the tournament, so I hope to qualify and get to go this year.”