by Scott Kindberg
December 5, 1999
It’s only been in the last three months or so, however, that people outside the village have taken notice of the 5-foot-11, 225-pound freshman.
Of course, when you can carry the football like Caulcrick did in his first varsity season, you tend to receive a lot of attention from the fans, your opponents and the media.
In the last season before the millennium, Caulcrick turned in a performance for the ages, In leading the Pirates to the New York State Class D title game and a No. 2 state ranking,
Caulcrick rushed for a whopping 1,840 yards on 274 carries and 23 touchdowns. Of that total, more than 700 yards came in the five postseason games where he turned up his intensity to an even higher level.
He also scored one touchdown on a 90-yard fumble recovery and another on a 90-yard kickoff return. Tack on his 28 extra point kicks, his two 2-point conversion runs and one field goal and Caulcrick accounted for 188 points.
He did it all.
Need strength? He carried two Maple Grove tacklers into the end zone for the game-winning TD in overtime in the Section 6 championship game.
Need a yard for a first down? Caulcrick broke the hearts of Batavia Notre Dame in the Far West Regional as he converted critical short-yardage situations into first downs to run out the clock in a 13-12 victory.
Need speed? Caulcrick took his first varsity carry of the sectional final 70 yards for a touchdown, outrunning the Maple Grove secondary to the end zone. He finished the game with 234 yards and three touchdowns.
Ironically, in the preseason, Clymer coach Howard McMullin was only going to keep Caulcrick on the varsity if he proved to the staff that he could start and hold his own.
Caulcrick obviously satisfied that criteria.
“Jehuu’s got a heart of gold, but he also wants to help his team win and do the best he can,” McMillin said. “We’ve focused on the things he’s got to do to become a better football player.”
The Pirates season wasn’t without some obstacles on their road to the Carrier Dome. Back-to-back one-point losses to Forestvillle (46-45) and Maple Grove (27-26) put Clymer’s sectional hopes in jeopardy, but they rebounded with a victory over Panama, followed by play-off wins over the Hornets, Red Dragons, Batavia Notre Dame and Hamilton.
Yes, it was some year for Clymer and its legion of fans.
And, yes, it was some year for Caulcrick.
So good, in fact, that he has earned the 15th annual The Post-Journal Player of the Year.