| 1968 Team Photo |
John Weikert, perhaps pound-for-pound the top defensive end in the area put it best when describing the 1968 football team, "We didn't have one star on our team. We just had a bunch of guys who loved to play football and played together as a team. That's why we were successful."
Only two teams in the 21-year history of Covington football have finished unbeaten and untied, until this group of believers surprised the doubters to join the 1952 and 1960 Buccaneer squads in elite status of perfection.
Heading into the 1968 campaign, Coach Larrie Tisdale's squad was viewed by media writers as a dark-horse in the race for the Mad River Valley League title. After all, the Buccs only finished 3 and 6 the year before and all but one of their opponents (Bradford) were Class AA opponents, which posed a huge obsticle for a Class A football team like Covington.
In the end, however, the Buccs proved the doubters wrong by knocking off the "top dogs" in the MRVL and finishing the season with a 10-0 record. Along the way the Buccs dominated such opponents as Tipp City, Bradford, Northwestern, Greenon, Springfield Shawnee, Miami East, Northeastern, Graham, and Greenville. They also showed heart in their come-from-behind win over upset-minded Tecumseh, 14-12.
The Buccs won with a dominating defense and a balanced offensive attack. They outscored their opponents 316-64 in the ten-game season. Their defense posted four shutouts and only allowed three teams to score in double digits, the most given up to Graham (18) in the final game of the season.
In his second year on the Buccaneer' sideline, Coach Tisdale molded a talented group, including 11 seniors, into a dominating football machine. In the trenches included names like Leland Carney, Terry Hecker, Mike Robinette, Keith Warner, Bill Apple and Gary Meyer, while Herb Stevenson and John Weikert harrassed opponents off the corner. Weikert earned the reputation as the top defensive end in the area.
Offensively for the Buccs, quarterback Brad Barker opperated the machine. Although the Buccs only passed on rare occasions, the Barker to Stevenson connection became legendary. When the Buccs needed a big play, Barker and Stevenson stepped up to the challange as evident by the last minute 80-yard hook-up against Tecumseh that pulled out victory from the jaws of defeat.
The ground attack was spearheaded by Terry Swallow, Bill Rudy, Ed Shilt and Buddy Clark. The "runner by committee" approach terrorized opposing defenses and kept them second guessing on which direction the ball was going. With the dominating ground attack, the Buccs controlled each game against the bigger schools on their schedule.
Even with the loss of the eleven seniors to graduation, the future appears bright for Tisdale and his Buccs. Due to Covington's large margins of victory in the majority of their games, the underclassman received valuable playing time. A large sophomore class of 10 and dynamic players like Rex Huffman, Dwight Garber and freshman running back, Denny Cain return for years to come.
1968 Buccaneer Scoring Leaders:
Terry Swallow 12 rushing TDs, 9 Rushing 2pt, 1 Receiving 2pt 92 Points
Brad Barker 6 TDs Passing, 5 Passing 2pt, 1 Punt Return TD, 1 Interception TD,
2 Rushing 2pt 62 Points
Ed Shilt 6 Rushing TDs, 8 Rushing 2pt, 1 Receiving 2pt 54 Points
Herb Stevenson 6 Receiving TDs, 1 Interception TD, 3 Receiving 2pt 48 Points
Bill Rudy 5 Rushing TDs, 2 Rushing 2pt 34 Points
Denny Cain 2 Rushing TDs, 1 Rushing 2pt 14 Points
Buddy Clark 2 Rushing TDs, 1 Rushing 2pt 14 Points
Ron Apwisch 1 Rushing TD, 1 Rushing 2pt 8 Points
John Weikert 1 Fumble Return TD 6 Points
Dwight Garber 1 Rushing 2pt 2 Points
Bucc Defense 2 Safeties 4 Points
1968 Buccaneer Roster:
Dennis Cain, Terry Swallow, Lynn Garber, Larry Gearhardt, Denny Robinson, Dwight Garber, Dave Sweigart, Don Apswisch, Brad Barker, Buddy Clark, Leonard Minnich, Dave Stacey, Mike Manson, Steve Stacey, Ron Lamb, Dave Willis, Eric Frantz, Alan Forsythe, Dave Longenecker, Ed Shilt, Terry Hecker, John Weikert, Jerry Longendelpher, Mike Clark, Bill Apple, Steve Oakes, Leland Carney, Keith Warner, Rex Huffman, Herb Stevenson, Gary Meyer, Bob Trostel, Tim Stambaugh, Bill Rudy, Mike Robinette