PORTVILLE — Jehuu Caulcrick's playing resume is the most impressive of anyone to coach in the Big 30 All-Star Charities Classic.
Born in Liberia, West Africa, Caulcrick, at age 9, fled the civil war-ravaged country with his mother and sister, moving to Chautauqua County. At tiny Clymer Central School, he took up the sport of football and became a star, graduating as Western New York's all-time leading rusher with 6,559 yards — a record that still stands.
In four seasons, the bruising back led Clymer to as many state final fours and was a three-time first-team All-State and All-WNY selection. After his senior campaign in 2002, he was named both Western New York and state Player of the Year.
In college, Caulcrick was a standout at Michigan State before spending time in the NFL with the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills.
This summer, he is excited to do something new on the gridiron.
"I played in the Governor's Bowl when I was in high school — New York versus New Jersey — but other than that ... this is a first opportunity coaching at an all-star level," said Caulcrick, the Southwestern coach in charge of New York's team in the 46th annual Big 30 game.
"It's awesome," he said following New York's opening practice Monday. "This is a great opportunity that my staff and I have to be able to coach these guys, seeing them, playing against them and everything like that, and now it's an opportunity to come as a team and represent our state and that's really cool."
The 35-year-old Caulcrick has coached four seasons at Southwestern, leading the Trojans to a 27-11 record, including trips to the Section 6 Class C final at New Era Field the last three years.
New York had 41 of the 44 players on its roster attend Monday's practice at Portville Central School. Cattaraugus-Little Valley's Sam Grey and Southwestern's Mayson Mathews won't be able to play, said Shawn Llewellyn, game chairman. They will be replaced by Southwestern's Alex Card — a first-team All-Western New York wide receiver.
Pioneer's Mike Rigerman, the 2018 Big 30 Player of the Year bound for Division II Findlay (Ohio), was excused for college orientation.
"I fully expect him to play and play very well," Llewellyn said.
"I'm excited about the talent that we have," Caulcrick said. "It's the first day in, it's just a feeling-out process to see what you can do, what you can't do, different ways like that. It's going to be interesting to see how it all comes together at the end."
The New York all-stars and their Pennsylvania counterparts will have less time to prepare than in years past. The number of practices has been reduced from 11 to nine over two weeks.
"What we're finding is we lose a lot of players to college camps, to just college in general," Llewellyn said. "When it's college in general, it's because kids have to work because college is so much more expensive now than it was 20 years ago. And because they have to work, they're not taking time out of that schedule. We've found that cutting it down to two weeks instead of adding days in a third week helps us retain them. We started this week with full rosters (of 45 players) on both sides, and we're at the point now where we're still going to be able to field darn near a full team because of making that change. We haven't really had the headaches that we've had the last few years because of it."
To prepare in a short time, Caulcrick said, "You've just got to simplify things. I know in football everyone is saying the same thing but is speaking in different languages, so we've got to put those languages together that everyone can understand."