Mishawaka was forced to play a lot of young, inexperienced players in 2006.
At times, it showed, as the Cavemen finished their season with a 5-5 record and a first round exit in Sectionals.
But now, Mishawaka could be set to reap the benefits. The Cavemen return 16 starters, who have gone from inexperienced underclassmen to experienced upperclassmen.
Head coach Jim Aldrich, now in his 15th season, is very pleased with what he's seeing from his team so far in training camp.
While Aldirch is not predicting his team will win the NIC in 2007, he says that is obviously their goal. The veteran coach says it's important to set the goals high for his team so they have some very big to shoot for.
Leading the Cavemen in 2007 will be returning safety Ryan Warmoth. Warmoth was an all-state player last year as a junior and is getting looks from a few Division I schools, according to Aldrich.
In fact, the Cavemen return their entire secondary.
Their weakness on defense could be at linebacker, where they lose the majority of the team's starters.
Offensively, Mishawaka returns an experienced offensive line, its entire backfield and its quarterback.
The Cavemen open up the 2007 season on the road at DeKalb on August 17th.