• Post category:2024 SEASON
Garrett Leistner stiff arms a Rocket defender after hauling in a reception. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

ANNA – The Covington Buccaneers traveled to Anna on Monday for a head-to-head 7-on-7 scrimmage against a very talented Rockets team and came away with a learning experience that will hopefully lead to more improvement.

What made the competition so interesting is the fact that none of the coaching staff on either team was able to do any coaching, which put all of the responsibility on the players to make the right calls and the right decisions once the ball was snapped.

This is what made the experience very beneficial for Covington because the Buccaneers, which is a relatively young team, found themselves in tough situations against an Anna team that has a majority of its roster back from a year ago where the Rockets went deep into the state playoffs. There were so many situations where the Buccaneers found areas needed to correct.

The first area is the physicality and intensity.

“Anna was much more physical than we were and we didn’t play with that mush intensity and enthusiasm as I had hoped for,” said Covington coach Austin Morgan, who basically was only able to watch his team compete. “No energy at all on our part. We played much better last week up at Twin valley South.”

Covington did make some big plays, but they came from the performance of players with the most experience on the team – primarily Day’Lynn Garrett and Garrett Leistner. Day’Lynn Garrett made two great catches for touchdowns, while Garrett Leistner showed the best type of leadership on the team.

Sophomore quarterback Landin Cassel also made some great throws, but there were several instances where his passes were picked off due to receivers letting the ball slip through their hands and into the hands of the defender.

“There were some kids who could have and should have competed harder,” Morgan said. “We started out a little lackadaisical and eventually we picked up up, but not to the level we should have.”

The scrimmage was also beneficial for the youngest players on the Buccaneer squad as several reps were made available by rotating player in and out of the lineup.

And some huge plays were made by freshman quarterback Rider Robbins and freshman wideout Joe Hamilton. The biggest play resulted into a touchdown catch by Hamilton down the middle as he made an amazing catch.

Overall, there was a lot of plays put on film where the Buccaneers will learn from their mistakes and also use the huge plays as confidence to grow.

“Our kids are resilient and I’m pretty sure they will use this as motivation to work harder,” Morgan said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us and these kids are a group who is willing to do what needs to be done.”

The same type of 7-on-7 scrimmage will take place on Wednesday as the Rockets will come to Covington.

Parker Hoying splits two Anna defenders after making a catch over the middle. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Day’Lynn Garrett makes a one-handed grab for a touchdown against Anna. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Joe Hamilton pulls down an amazing catch in the end zone. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo