• Post category:2024 SEASON
Landin Cassel makes one of several perfect throws in the 7-on-7 scrimmage on Wednesday at Twin Valley South. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

WEST ALEXANDRIA – The Covington Buccaneers competed in 7-on-7 scrimmages against five other programs and showed a significant amount of improvement in an impressive display of effort, intensity and enthusiasm.

“It was a great day for us,” said Covington coach Austin Morgan. “I couldn’t have asked for things to go much better than they did today. These kids played their rear ends off.”

The five teams Covington competed against were Belmont, West Carrollton, Sidney, Tri-Village and the host Twin Valley South Panthers.

It was very apparent that this team consisting of a significant amount of young players have improved in their development throughout the off-season. Their hard work and commitment to the relentless culture led to successful results on the field – even though the action was played without pads.

“The kids showed a lot of toughness and confidence out there (on the field),” Morgan explained. “Some of our opponents got a little chippy with us and tried to intimidate us, but the kids never relented at all. Actually, I felt our kids were more aggressive and physical.”

It was also obvious which players invested a lot of time over the off-season to improve their strength, speed and fundamentals.

It started with sophomore quarterback Landin Cassel. His body dimensions stood out and his throwing strength and accuracy was extremely impressive.

“Landin had a great day,” said Morgan. “He made a lot of good decisions and threw some nice balls. Yes, he did make a few mistakes, but the good thing about that is he focused on the next play. That’s the mentality a good quarterback needs.”

Several Buccaneer receivers made some great plays due to their solid route running and ability to make catches, even under some good coverage by some of the opposing defenders. Some balls did drop, but overall the performance showed great improvement.

Those who stood out were Day’Lynn Garrett, Garrett Leistner, Trenton Havenar and Parker Hoying.

“We made some big plays and our speed showed,” said Morgan. “We had several kids make plays, but the most impressive one is when Havenar caught a short pass and outran the entire defense for a touchdown. That kid is a baller.”

Covington also played well defensively due to their relentless effort and desire to swarm to the football. The players who set the tone were the linebackers – Garrett Leistner, Trenton Havenar, Sam Hellman and Kaden Thompson.

“They flew to the football, even when a ball wasn’t caught,” Morgan said. “Garrett Leistner showed great leadership out there and the rest of the guys followed suit.”

The secondary unit also made some huge plays. Sophomore Jordan Miller picked off three passes and knocked down some passes on plays that would have likely resulted into opposing touchdowns if it wasn’t for his outstanding plays.

“Jordan played great,” praised Morgan. “He did a good job of executing.”

Junior Day’Lynn Garrett also made some huge defensive plays as he went head-to-head against most of the best receivers on opposing teams.

“He went up against some really good receivers, one who is around 6’-8,” said Morgan of Garrett. “He never backed down at all and made some big plays. A couple of the receivers were able to make some nice catches, but it wasn’t because Day’Lynn was beat.”

Many more Buccaneer players played extremely well too and their names should be mentioned. If everyone’s progression continues over the course of the summer and the entire season, there will be more players recognized.

The next opportunity for improvement is on Monday at Anna in another 7-on-7 scrimmage. The start time is 5:00pm.

Day’Lynn Garrett makes a huge play in a 7-on-7 scrimmage at Twin Valley South. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Garrett Leistner crosses the goal line on a touchdown reception. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo