AUGUST 2, 2022 – COVINGTON
It’s that time of year where the kids learn the results of the work they put in over the off-season as mandatory practices have begun in preparation for the 2022.
For the Covington Buccaneers, there was a lot of production throughout the off-season as the majority of the kids who will take the field on opening night against St. Henry have pushed themselves over the past eight months.
“In our off-season program, we’ve been lifting three days a week since December, and it has been awesome,” said second year coach Austin Morgan. “Last year we kind of got the weight room going in the right direction and it kind of took off this off-season. We’ve had a lot of guys show leadership in there and we lift at six in the morning. It is hard to do at times, get up early, but the kids have responded so well to it.”
Leading the charge throughout the off-season has been senior Brian Morrison.
“Brian has been there – I don’t think he has missed a day in the weight room,” praised Morgan of Morrison. “He’s had some health issues, but I think he has been able to overcome those with his strength – physical strength and his mental strength. I think that kid can push through anything.”
The adversity Morrison has faced has made him mentally and physically stronger due to his desire and competitive drive.
“I just want to prove that nothing can stop people from doing anything,” Morrison said. “Me being really small compared to other people, I want to prove that smaller people can do whatever they feel like they can do.”
Morrison takes great pride in being a leader and showing his younger teammates by example mental and physical toughness.
“I want them (teammates) to carry on always doing the right thing, just going full go in everything you do,” he explained. “Whether it’s school and homework, or any other sports – just do the right thing and going full go all of the time. Doing it right.”
Many other Buccaneer players have excelled throughout the off-season and coach Morgan believes it will produce results in the development of the kids as players and quality people.
“As a team, we have talked a lot about ‘What does this group of guys want to get out of this season?’,” Morgan explained. “The biggest thing is becoming us. What that means is how can we get this group of guys to become as close as possible. You hear the term brotherhood in football all the time – it’s the same kind of concept where no matter the adversity, no matter the situation – we have a group of guys who are so tight together, they’ve become one.”
Every year adversity arises out of nowhere at inopportune times and the Buccaneers will face adverse situations in the upcoming season. It’s how they respond to each situation is what will determine the long term development of the kids as players and as people.
“Our second goal is to grow and maximize every day,” Morgan continued. “What maximize means is every kid has a ton of potential in them and the hard part is getting that out of them. It takes a lot of work, a lot of time and a lot of effort, a lot of straining and discomfort to get that maximize out of them. That’s one of our goals to say at the end of this year did you maximize not only the player you are, but the person too.”
It all goes back to the core values as the foundation of what it takes to be successful.
“Our core values are Work, Tough, Unselfish, Humble and Loyal,” Morgan stressed. “We are looking at, ‘Did you become closer to truly believing and buying into those values?’. If we do that, I think we are getting kids out of here (graduating) who go into the real world, who are awesome human beings – and who know how to handle adversity and know how to grind and achieve and strain for things they want in life.”
The message is clear and the kids who will take the field in just under two weeks are showing the message is getting through due to the work the kids have put in over the off-season.
Now it’s on to the next phase, mandatory practices where full contact takes place in preparation for the upcoming season.