2006 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
Led by a talented senior class, the 2006 Buccaneers claimed an AP Poll Championship after a perfect 10-0 regular season.
After the Covington’s season ended in the first round of the state playoffs, a Buccaneer fan stated, “It seems like the road to the state championship always goes through Covington”.
Well, at least three out of the last four years it has.
The Covington Buccaneers have had the misfortune of facing the eventual state champion or state runner-up in the opening round of the state playoffs in three out of the last four seasons…all three times at Smith Field.
After last season’s loss to Delphos St. John’s, who ultimately shut out its opponent in the state championship game, the Buccs were excited when they found out Marion Local was the first round opponent this year.
That may sound odd considering the reputation of the MAC, who has won state title after state title, but the Buccs knew if they could beat the Flyers they would have a solid chance of reaching the ultimate goal…winning a state championship.
The Buccaneers gave Marion Local all it could handle, only to fall short in a game that was much closer than the 41-20 score indicated. Covington only trailed 15-14 at the half and 27-20 after three quarters before two late touchdowns by Marion Local put the game out of reach.
A few plays here and there that didn’t go the Buccs’ way may have made the difference, in particular two apparent fumbles recoveries and a controversial interception.
Marion Local breezed through the remaining competition, defeating Springfield Central Catholic 49-20, Mechanicsburg 14-0, Norwalk St. Paul 47-6 and Shadyside 17-0 for the state championship. The fact Covington gave Marion Local perhaps its toughest game in the playoffs only validates the Buccaneers’ status as one of the top teams in Division 6 football.
The Buccaneers reached the state playoffs after recording an unbeaten 10-0 regular season, an accomplishment considered virtually impossible prior to the season.
Conventional wisdom indicated a 7-3 or 8-2 record would be a solid season for the Buccs considering the significant losses to graduation from a year ago.
Although the Buccs returned a talented group of skill players, they had to fill holes on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Through hard work and a belief in themselves, the Buccaneer offense and defensive lines consisting of Bryant Hale, Jordy Burelison, Tom Sampson, Tyler Kanet, J.J. Thompson, Logan Hall and Jake Wise gelled as the season progressed.
This made for numerous highlights, but none bigger than the 19-point second half comeback against Tri-County North.
Trailing 26-7 midway through the fourth quarter, All-State quarterback Gene Studebaker led the Buccs back with a 58-yard touchdown run and three touchdown passes to Seth Mohler, a second-team All-State selection. The final touchdown came with just 8 second left on the clock as the Buccs pulled out a 36-32 win.
It was the closest game Covington had throughout the regular season as the remaining opponents never came within 13 points of the Buccs.
Covington’s potent offense scored over 40 points in five games and were held to under 30 points just once during the regular season.
For their efforts throughout the regular season, the Buccs were chosen as Associated Press Poll Champions in Division VI. The only two other Covington teams to earn such recognition came in 1960 and 1973.
The success the 2006 Buccaneers had on the field also resulted in five players earning All-Ohio recognition as Gene Studebaker was a first-team selection for the second straight season.
Seth Mohler was named to the second-team, while Bryant Hale, Drew Craft and Jordy Burelison all made Honorable Mention.
The awards and recognition the Buccaneer players received was richly deserved due to the work they put in to achieve them.
The saying in the weight room…”Hard Work is Always Rewarded”…is what describes the 2006 Buccaneers.
Hopefully, it will lead to a state championship in the future.
DAN “THE MAN” RINDLER
Recently, Covington High School lost one of its finest students. Daniel (Dan) Rindler was about to enter his sophomore year. He served as a class officer for the class of 2008. With a 4.0 G.P.A., Dan was at the top of his class academically. He had already lettered in football and track, and participated on the school’s basketball team.
Dan was known for his out going personality and enthusiasm in all he did. Fellow football players recall that Dan entered every huddle with a desire to excel and motivate his teammates. Teachers agree he approached academics with the same fervor. Consequently, Dan was popular among his peers and appreciated by the faculty and staff of Covington Schools.
Good character was another of Dan’s attributes. He was the type of student who would rather set an example instead of blending with the crowd. Dan’s values were evident in his actions and his relationships. His leadership will be sorely missed in the halls of Covington High School.
Perhaps the best evidence of Dan’s impact on his peers is the large group of students who gathered to honor his memory Wednesday evening and again Thursday afternoon. It is through these gatherings and shared recollections that Dan’s memory will continue in our community.
– Covington High School
KEVIN FINFROCK – A BUCCANEER THROUGH AND THROUGH
Kevin Finfrock – the son of George and Terry Finfrock and a member of the Covington Athletic Hall of Fame and the Defiance Athletic Hall of Fame – passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at his home in West Milton.
Kevin was a 1981 graduate of Covington High School and a standout athlete in football, basketball and track. He was a member of the 1979 state runner-up football team, the 1980 state semi-finalist football team, the 1981 basketball team that finished 24-1 and reached the regional final, and was a member of the 1981 state runner-up 4×100 relay team who still holds the school record in a time of 43.88. In 1980 Finfrock rushed for 1,298 yards, which at the time was the second highest single season rushing total in school history behind Denny Cain’s 1,354 yards in 1971.
Kevin was also the head football coach at Covington from 2003 to 2006 where he compiled a 34-9 record and led the Buccaneers to the state playoffs in three of his four seasons at the helm.
WE’LL NEVER SEE ANOTHER GENE
Gene Studebaker put up numbers never seen before in the history of Covington football. He was a rare four-year starter for the Buccaneers at several positions – running back, quarterback, corner and safety.
2006 BUCCS - 10-1 - AP POLL CHAMPIONS
@ TRI-COUNTY NORTH
@ TWIN VALLEY SOUTH
@ MISSISSINAWA VALLEY
Select Result for Game Story.