CANTON, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Canton Little Giants have a big senior class on the football field.

There are 21 seniors on the Canton roster, including a quarterback that will be a first-year starter. But Cale Barnhart he’s already making an impression this preseason.

“He make great strides in the summer and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how he’s led us in practice,” said Canton head coach Nick Wright.

Canton’s biggest offensive weapon may be running back LaShawn Wallace. And the Little Giants’ leader defensively is defensive back Joey Norton.

But after watching quarterback Nick Oldfield run the Canton offense the past two years, Barnhart says he’s ready to be a leader and weapon for the Little Giants this fall. He was Canton’s starting quarterback on underclass teams as a freshman and sophomore but was a reserve last year, making one start at East Peoria.

“I feel way more confident than I did last year understanding defenses,” Barnhart said. “My arm strength got tremendously better over the summer. I feel a lot more comfortable throwing the ball.”

Canton gets a nice non-conference test in the opener at Eureka in two weeks. It could be a night Barnhart makes a nice first impression for the season.

“He’s been our quarterback since freshman. sophomore year. He was second strong last year. Learned everything, same as Nick (Oldfield),” Norton said. “He’s ready to put all the pieces together and go out this year.”