2001 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
John Starry’s senior class finishes with a 32-4 record and three playoff appearances over the past three seasons.
The 2001 Covington Buccaneers continued to dominate as they have done since the 1999 season. In the past 3 seasons of Covington football, the Buccs are 24-1 in the CCC and have finished with back-to-back unbeaten regular seasons. The 2001 team also made the state playoffs for the third consecutive year, a first in school history.
The senior class consisting of Josh Burelison, Dusty Blythe, Mike Molesky, Clint Mohler, Alex Hague, B.J. Owens, Mike Stephan and John Starry completed their high school career with a four-year record of 38-8 and 29-4 in the CCC.
Entering the season there were many questions regarding the offensive and defensive lines because of the graduation losses from last year’s team. The only starting offensive lineman returning to this year’s squad was Dusty Hess. John Sampson, T.J. Warner, David White, Matt Maier and Mike Stephan quickly answered the questions by opening holes for two backs who gain over 1,000 yards on the season. Also, the Buccaneer line provided adequate time for Dusty Blythe to pass for over 1,000 yards for the second straight year.
Josh Burelison closed out an outstanding career by rushing for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Burelison was a three year starter for the Buccs, his sophomore season being at split end. Once Burelison moved to running back into 2000 he became one of the most exciting and breathtaking backs in Covington history.
Boomer Schmidt complemented Burelison’s quickness with power and speed. Boomer also rushed for over 1,000 yards in his second season as a running back. Boomer was also a receiving threat out of the backfield because of his separation spead down the middle of the field.
Clint Mohler, Jordan Shafer, Alex Hague and Mike Molesky provided Dusty Blythe with plenty of options in the passing game. All four receivers made big plays throughout the season as well as in the playoffs.
On the defensive side of the ball the Buccs had to overcome a season ending knee injury to Mutt Reck in the second game of the season. Mutt was well on his way to have in break-out year. In the Buccs’ first two games, Mutt recorded 2 interceptions and ran one back for a touchdown.
Boomer Schmidt was the Buccs’ most dominating defensive player with his relentless sideline to sideline pursuit. Jon Sampson led the team in quarterback sacks and Dusty Hess dominated the line of scrimmage by taking on two and three blockers at a time. Mike Stephan, playing in only his first year of football, filled the nose tackle position like a veteran. Mike sealed a perfect season with an interception against Anna.
The defensive secondary consisted of four players who could cover and hit. Mike Moleskey made some of the biggest hits of the year as well as the biggest plays. Most notable was his crushing hit on Williamsburg’s Jason Bainum which forced a fumble to give the Buccs the momentum early in the game.
B.J. Owens also made big plays for the Buccs. In a tight game against Bethel, B.J. stepped in front of a Bethel receiver to pick off a pass which killed a potential scoring drive late in the game.
Jordan Shafer was perhaps the Buccs’ best cover man and as sure tackler. Jordan made the play of the game against CCC rival Ansonia to put the Buccs in scoring position. Shafer picked off a Tiger pass inside the Buccs’ 20 and ran it back to inside the opponents 10-yard line to change the momentum of the game.
The final defensive back was Josh Burelison. Most teams avoided throwing Burelison’s way most of the year. When the ball did come his way he was always there to knock it down or make the tackle on an opposing player in the open field.
The 2001 Buccs provided Covington fans some of the most memorable moments in Buccaneer history. The senior class walked off the field as one of the best classes to ever come through Covington.
It must be the “Shoes”…
John Starry’s parents gave David White a special gift when they saw the condition of his old, worn out football cleats. Since David and John had the same size feet they gave him John’s football cleats. So, David White has kept a part of John Starry on the field this season, literally. John was on the field every game with his senior classmates as they went undefeated in the regular season for the second straight year. David will be back next season and he may brings the cleats with him. If not, then they played their last game with the rest of John’s senior classmates. Maybe that’s the way it should be.