There are many challenges ahead for the Covington Buccaneers due to the youth and inexperience on the roster, but the kids on the football team are working extremely hard to where the program is headed in the right direction.
JULY 20, 2022 – COVINGTON
The Covington Buccaneers are in the middle of the summer camp days and the first thing any observer would notice when seeing the team on the practice field is the low number of kids.
That’s because several of the kids who played – and started – in 2021 have decided to move on from football. In all, the Buccaneers have just one full time starter returning from a year ago, sophomore Izaiah Sherman, and just one senior, Brian Morrison – which means the entire offensive and defensive lines from last year are gone. The quarterback, wideouts, tight ends, defensive backs, linebackers, special teams units – everything is being retooled with new faces.
On paper, that all may seem negative, BUT when witnessing first hand how hard the 21 kids work, it is apparent that Covington football is headed in the right direction in the long term.
It all starts at the top with second year head coach Austin Morgan. He has the philosophies that are proven for success (Work – Tough – Unselfish – Humble) and has implemented a training regimen that gives each and every kid what is needed to maximize their potential.
Yes, the training regimen is not all sunshine and rainbows. It consists of early morning workouts where kids have to challenge themselves and push each other to improve. It’s not easy, but neither is life in the grand scheme of things.
“We can’t worry about the kids who aren’t here, because we can’t force them to play,” said Morgan. “Would we like to have more kids back? Sure. But, we have to focus on the kids who are here.”
The kids who have stuck it out so far are grinding, even though the majority of them are freshmen and sophomores. Yes, they have a lot to learn and a lot of growth and development needs to take place, but wow, these kids are giving everything they possibly can to get better.
“These kids are working extremely hard,” Morgan explained. “Most of the kids are young and they do have a lot to learn, but they are taking to the coaching and getting better every day. It’s a process.”
The leader of the group is senior Brian Morrison, who was left on an island all alone by his classmates to make the most he possibly can out of his senior year. Morrison is a true inspiration because he has overcome medical issues in the past and refuses to let anything stop him from contributing as much as he possibly can to the program. His toughness, dedication and commitment to the program provides an example to the younger kids of what it means to be a Buccaneer.
“Brian is tough as nails,” praised Morgan of his lone senior. “He has had a lot too overcome, but he continues to grind every single day. He is a great leader by example.”
Even with more time to develop when mandatory practices begin in August, there are a lot of unknowns heading into the upcoming season – more so than any other year in the history of Buccaneer football. No Buccaneer team has ever been this young and inexperienced at the high school level, so these kids will be faced with more challenges and adversity than any team in the past that has taken the field in Buccaneer uniforms.
Yet, with the way this group of kids has bought in to the philosophies and values coach Austin Morgan has brought to the program, the future is extremely bright for Covington football.
All they need is encouragement and community support to help them along the way.