2002 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
The 2002 Covington Buccaneers will be remembered by what they accomplished despite the adversity they faced throughout the season.
Another season has come to pass and what’s left are the memories of another great run by the Buccs. For the third straight year the Buccs finished the regular season unbeaten, but never has a Buccaneer team faced adversity like the 2002 team had to face.
The Buccs came into the season with the realization that one of their top players (Mutt Reck) would not be available due to a knee injury from the year before. Then they had six more players go down throughout the season. All six were players who saw significant time on both sides of the ball. Despite the adversity, somehow they were able to stick together and put together another memorable season.
“We had some bad luck this year with injuries,” mentioned coach Peacock at the awards banquet. “We came into the season knowing we needed to stay healthy, but unfortunately that never happened. Despite the injuries we had some young kids step up and we were able to finish 10-0 again. That’s a testament to the type of kids we have here at Covington.”
Early in the season the Buccs looked like a team that would be a handful come playoff time. They looked very impressive in scrimmages against Eaton and Versailles, two larger schools that regularly field playoff teams.
The Buccs opened the season in style with a 40-6 destruction of Miami East. Boomer Schmidt led the way with 213 yards on 19 carries and scored 3 times. Brady Reck also threw for 131 yards as the Buccs racked up 453 total yards of offense.
Boomer kept things going the next week against Twin Valley South as he ran for 196 yards and scores twice. Another 400+ offensive output and a strong defensive performance gave the Buccs a 39-7 win to open the conference schedule.
Next the Buccs faced National Trail, who was coming off of a shocking win over Bethel the week before. With the entire offensive and defensive lines in tack for the first time of the season, the Buccs trounced Trail 42-8 and had coach Peacock smiling from ear to ear.
“This is the kind of game we were looking for,” mentioned Coach Peacock after the game. “It’s the first game we have had our entire line together and the results were exactly what we wanted.”
The injury bug started rearing it’s ugly head the next week against Ansonia as Boomer Schmidt took a hit and had to sit out the second half after gaining 128 first half yards. Still, Jesse Hitt picked up the slack as he racked up 188 yards and scored three times to lead the Buccs to a 38-12 win.
Boomer was able to return for the homecoming showdown with Arcanum for a half, but was forced out again late in the second quarter. Things looked bleak for the Buccs as they fell behind 10-3 at the half and had their top running back/linebacker on the sideline. They were also missing Matt Maier from the offensive and defensive lines, which didn’t help matters.
With defeat starring them right in the face, the Buccs responded with perhaps their most impressive half of football to take a 27-10 win. Brady Reck grew from potential leader to leader as he threw for 188 yards on 18 out of 23 passing. Most importantly, the Buccs knew they could win a big game without Boomer.
After cruising by Mississinawa Valley 39-6, the Buccs had some more bad luck the next week against Bethel. Dusty Rhoades fell to a shoulder injury which ended his season. Matt McCord picked up in place of Boomer with 131 yards rushing while Jordan Shafer and Ross Mohler picked up their game to compensate for the loss of Rhoades. Shafer and Mohler combined for 9 catches for 176 yards and 3 scores.
Disaster almost struck in the Buccs’ 33-0 win over Bradford the following week. Brady Reck suffered a knee injury which at the time had every Buccaneer supporter wondering what could happen next.
What next happened the next week against Tri-County North. Boomer Schmidt came back in a big way with 215 yards to lead the Buccs to a 21-7 win, but unfortunately the Buccs lost starting guard/linebacker, Mykal McEldowney for the rest of the season.
With the CCC title and unbeaten season on the line the following week against Anna, the Buccs dug to the well one more time. Covington played the best football that may have been played in the four years the senior class has put together a 39-1 regular season record. Battered and bruised, the Buccs demolished Anna 42-13. They won the game with 4 starters out, Boomer and Brady only able to play on offense and other players having to play out of their normal positions.
With high hopes for the playoffs, the Buccs fell victim the next week to Troy Christian, 20-16. The loss left many of the Buccaneer faithful thinking ‘What if?”.
“What if the Buccs had Mutt, Matt, Mykal and Dusty?”
“What if Boomer and Brady both were 100% and able to play both ways?”
“What if the Buccs didn’t lose Dan Morrow during the game?”
Questions are not the way we should remember this team and this senior class. They should be remembered for what they were. They were 10-0 for the third straight year. The seniors were 39-1 in the regular season over four years. They put together a 34 game regular season winning streak that is still on-going. They have built a 29-game conference winning streak that is on-going. Most of all, they should be remembered for giving us some great memories and adding to the Buccaneer tradition of winning.
They’ve earned it!
2002 Football Awards:
Mr. Football – Jordan Shafer
Dr. Girouard Sportsmanship Award – David White
Co-Lineman of the Year – Jon Sampson and Dusty Hess
Co-Back of the Year – Boomer Schmidt and Brady Reck
“Brotha” Offensive Award – Jesse Hitt
Co-Skull & Cross Bone Award – Mykal McEldowney and Dan Morrow
Three Year – Dusty Hess, Mykal McEldowney, Jon Sampson and Jordan Shafer
Four Year – Boomer Schmidt
All CCC – Boomer Schmidt, Dusty Hess, Jon Sampson, Jordan Shafer and Brady Reck
Special Mention CCC – Ross Mohler
Honorable Mention CCC – Jesse Hitt and Matt McCord
CCC Lineman of the Year – Dusty Hess
JORDAN SHAFER EXCELS AT MOREHEAD STATE
Jordan Shafer, a senior on the 2001 Buccaneer football team, extended his football career at Morehead State University where he was a four-year letter winner and a three-year starter at Safety for the Eagles. During his time at Morehead State, Jordan overcame a serious knee injury and played in three PFL Championship games. Jordan credited his coaches for his development as a player and a person.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without the coaches I’ve had throughout my life,” he said. “Coach (Ted) Peacock at Covington helped me develop my football mindset – that you only get what you work for. Coach (Matt) Ballard (at Morehead) has taught me a lot of life skills – like how to be a gentleman. Most of all, my dad (Chip Shafer). He coached me in pee wee football and in life. I wouldn’t be anywhere without him pushing me to be the best I can be.”