It’s been eleven years since Covington has been to the state playoffs, but the wait is over as the 1996 Buccaneers advanced to the playoff after recording the first 10-0 regular season record since 1973.

1996 Covington Buccaneers: Row 1 - M. Apple, D. Morrow, A. Dysinger, T. Bubeck, J. Ingle, M. Weikert, M. Snyder, N. Turner, J. York, M. Schmidt, J. French, J. Dye. Row 2 - Head Coach Bob Riley, T. Doyle, N. Shough, D. Baker, W. Graher, E. Boothe, D. Thompson, B. Frazier, R. Menke, S. Gerken, B. Baker, D. Martin, Coach Doug Swartz, Coach Bill Wise. Row 3 - Coach Jerry Shaw, T. Gragg, J. Herron, B. Brown, D. Cope, D. Yohey, J. Burbeck, K. Monroe, N. Knavel, M. Peters, L. Wills, Coach Dave Tobias. Row 4 - P. Doseck, B. Owens, C. Clark, M. Finfrock, B. Boothe, S. Reck, J. Bone, C. Swartz, J. Placeway, L. Hollopeter. Not pictured: T. Duff.
Bob Riley

Eleven years is an eternity when it comes to the success of Covington football. There was a time when winning was a regular occurrence but the past decade has been anything but stellar for Covington football. Only twice since 1985 have the Buccaneers recorded a winning team, 1992 and 1995.

With most of the players back from last year’s 9-1 team, expectations were high that the Covington football program would again be back on top.

The 1996 Buccs, coached by Bob Riley, exceeded the expectations by becoming only the 5th team in school history to finished the regular season with a perfect record. The others to do it were the 1952, 1960, 1968 and 1973 teams. Their perfect regular season record also gave the Buccs their second straight Cross County Conference championship.

Coach Riley’s Buccaneers consisted of a high-powered offense and a stingy defense. They possessed a powerful running game with Andy Shafer and Dale Thompson as well as a solid passing attack with the rocket arm of Matt Weikert.

In front of the talented backfield was a solid offensive line consisting of seniors Matt Apple, Travis Bubeck and Mack Snyder. They racked up 426 points for an average of 42.6 points per game in the regular season.

The defense was just a dominating as the offense. They only surrendered 70 regular season points for 7 points a game. The Buccs also recorded 3 shutouts but could have recorded at least 2 or 3 more but with games out of reach Coach Riley allowed younger players to see playing time.

After a dominating regular season, the Buccs faced eventual State Champions, St. Henry in the first round of the playoffs. The game was close until two fourth quarter touchdowns by the Redskins ended the Buccs’ season 28-0.

Matt Weikert – Off to College…
Matt Weikert was a dominating force on the 1995 and 1996 Buccaneers teams. He was the Buccs leader on both offense and defense, playing quarterback and linebacker for the league champions. Matt’s strong arm and football smarts helped lead the Buccs to an unbeaten regular season and a playoff appearance. After his Buccaneer career was finished Weikert played college football at Ohio University. He continued to dominate as a starting linebacker his junior and senior season.

1996 BUCCS - 10-1



Miami East


National Trail


Tri-County North




Mississinawa Valley




Twin Valley South









St. Henry


Coaches: Jerry Shaw, Bill Wise, Head Coach Bob Riley, Doug Swartz, Dave Tobias.
Matt Weikert runs through the opposing defense.
The Buccaneers walk in unison from the locker room to Smith Field.
Travis Bubeck stops a Bethel runner in the backfield.
Dale Thompson blocks on the edge.
Matt Weikert looks at an official for a call.