JUNE 15, 2022 – COVINGTON
For parents of a high school or junior high athletes, the ideal situation for their children is having access to the facilities and a training regimen that gives them everything they need to maximize their potential.
Covington is blessed to have that with its facilities and an individual who offers workout sessions at a time of the day where it doesn’t conflict with other activities kids choose to participate in.
That person is second-year Buccaneer football coach Austin Morgan.
Morgan, along with his coaching staff, conduct workout sessions at 6:00am for anyone at the high school or junior high level. These sessions are high energy where proper technique is instructed and motivational where kids are encouraged to push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of.
In short, Austin Morgan and his coaching staff offer kids the opportunity to GET BETTER.
It all started when Morgan was hired in April of 2021 as the 17th head football coach in program history as he was straight forward in the type of culture he wanted to establish at Covington.
“Our core values are hard work, being tough, humble and unselfish,” said Morgan in regards to the foundation of what it takes to be successful. “Toughness is developed first in the weight room. Toughness isn’t about bashing your head against the wall or how much you can bench. Toughness is when things are hard, can you persevere and push through.”
Morgan and his staff laid the groundwork last summer and through his first season at the helm. Even with a 1-9 record, the foundation was established as evident by the never-quit attitude by most of the kids, even though the majority of the team was young and inexperienced.
Over the winter and spring months, Morgan and his staff continued the process by conducting workout sessions at 6:30am. The reason for 6:30am time slot was so it wouldn’t conflict with practice or games of other activities kids participated in during the winter and spring sports seasons. Covington is a small school where athletes are shared throughout various sports, so Morgan provided an opportunity for ALL KIDS to improve their athlete ability through morning workouts.
Those workouts weren’t only for high school kids as junior high athletes also participated. This was offered so the junior high kids could learn proper techniques and develop disciplined habits that will carry them into high school when its becomes more about getting bigger, faster and stronger.
Coach Morgan is now in the summer portion of his football program and what is happening inside the weight room at 6:00am is special. The kids, mostly sophomores, freshmen and junior high, are working extremely hard. The environment is refreshing to see when witnessing the enthusiasm, effort, teamwork and intensity the kids put forth in the workouts.
There are some detractors who feel the 6:00am workouts are too early, but the early morning workout sessions give the kids adequate time to do so many other things – get a job, play other sports, or just enjoy their summer. Yes, coach Morgan encourages kids to play multiple sports and his workout sessions benefit the kids beyond the sport he coaches – football.
What is disheartening to those who are passionate about Buccaneer football – and there are a lot of people who are – is the number of kids in the upcoming junior and senior classes who have not bought in. It’s a shame because many of those kids will eventually have regrets. Fortunately, the summer is still early and hopefully some of those kids have a change of heart. Should they return and buy into the process, it won’t only benefit the football team, it will benefit each individual in the other sports they play.
Regardless, the focus is on the kids who are buying in, no matter the age. The kids who are buying in are taking the baton passed from last year’s seniors and raising the bar. Their efforts may not be measured in wins and losses in the upcoming football season, but it will produce huge results in the future.
Note: For anyone who would like to witness the workouts in person, the sessions are held on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 6:00am in the weight room and wrestling building. You will find that the workout sessions are not all about “Lifting Weights”. The sessions are geared towards developing all-around athletes where kids improve their speed, quickness, strength, conditioning, work ethic, mental toughness and team chemistry.