The 1970 Covington Buccaneers opened the new decade by carrying on the tradition established by the teams of the ’60s.

1970 Roster: D. Burgess, N. Steele, L. Garber, G. Wackler, J. Swallow, J. Hardest, M. McMaken, L. Gearhaerdt, D. Cain, D. Robinson, J. Ellis, D. Stacy, J. Frantz, B. Zimmerlin, S. Sampson, R. Huffman, E. Hartley, B. Clark, P. Minnich, M. Manson, D. Wills.
Larrie Tisdale

If you look at what the Covington Buccaneers have done in nearly a quarter of a century on the football field, you’d have to say that the 1960’s were the “Golden Years”. After all, in that decade the Buccs recorded a 73-20 record, two unbeaten seasons in 1960 and ’68, as well as a 9-1 season in 1965. The only losing season in the ’60s was in 1967 when the Buccs finished 3-6.

With the new decade upon us, one has to look back and hope the ’70s are as fruitful to the Buccs as the past decade has been.

Coach Larrie Tisdale’s 1970 Buccaneers started the decade off on the right track as they posted an 8-2 record, and a second place finish in the Mad River Valley League. The Buccs finished behind only Springfield Shawnee, who dominated league competition for a perfect record.

Things didn’t start out promising for the Buccs in their 24th season of play as Tipp City handed them an embarassing 42-22 loss on opening night. The fact the Buccs fell to a talented Tipp team wasn’t shocking, but the way Tipp dominated the action was. Covington rarely takes a beating like the Red Devils layed on them to start the season.

The loss to Tipp didn’t sit well with the Buccs and they did all they could to erase the memory in week two. Friendly neighbor, Bradford, was on the receiving end of a Covington onslaught and the result was a 38-0 win for the Buccs, their only shutout of the season.

The Buccs then opened the MRVL schedule against an up-and-coming Graham team the following week. Covington took control early and held off a late Graham rally to post a 30-19 win.

After two more wins over Northwestern, 18-6, and Greenon 22-6, the Buccs were primed for a showdown against Springfield Shawnee for a leg up in the race for the MRVL title. Both teams came in unbeaten in league play.

Unfortunately for the Buccs, Springfield Shawnee was too big, too fast, and had too many weapons. In the end Shawnee showed why they were considered a powerhouse as they destroyed the Buccs, 42-8.

The loss to Shawnee could have spelled the end for Covington, but Tisdale’s squad bounced back to defeat Worthington 12-6 just seven days later.

The Buccs followed that win up by trouncing traditionally tough Miami East, 52-14, and then handling Northeastern 28-20. The win over Northeastern locked up second place in the tough MRVL and set the stage for a showdown with Urbana.

Like all solid football teams do, the Buccs finished the season strong. In a hard-fought battle, Covington took care of Urbana 16-8 to finish the 1970 season on a four-game winning streak and an 8-2 record.

What the Buccs have done in 1970 and in years past is rather remarkeable since they play many Class A and Class AA opponents. Considering Covington is a Class AAA team, they have earned a reputation as a “small” school nobody likes to play. That reputation has remained the same into the new decade.

Contributing to the solid season the Buccs had in 1970 was a talented backfield of Bud Clark, Mike Manson and Denny Cain, quarterback Rex Huffman, and skilled receivers in Ed Hartley and Dave Stacey. But, the ’70 Buccs were much more than five or six players who received the headlines week in and week out. Guys like Dan Coate, Joe Ellis, Jeff Frantz, Larry Gearhardt, Jim Hardesty, Mike Lavey, Leonard Minnich, Denny Robinson, Steve Sampson, Nick Steel, Dave Wills, Gary Wackler and Bill Zimmerlin are the backbone of the team and the reason the 1970 Buccs added to the standard of winning established in the ’60s.

1970 Buccaneer Scoring Leaders:
Denny Cain – 14 TD – 4 2pt – 92 pts
Ed Hartley – 7 TD – 3 2pt – 48 pts
Bud Clark – 7 TD – 3 2pt – 48 pts
Mike Manson – 4 TD – 3 2pt – 30 pts
Dave Stacey – 1 TD – 4 2pt – 14 pts
Rex Huffman – 2 TD – 0 2pt – 12 pts
Ron Phillis – 0 TD – 1 2pt – 2 pts

1970 BUCCS - 8-2



Tipp City





Springfield Shawnee


Miami East



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Coaches: Ron Schultz, Bob Huelsman, Larrie Tisdale, Rex Thompson.