1977 Covington Buccaneers: Row 1 - Jeff Cain, Randy Kimmel, Joe Schmidt, Jay Victory, Rick Reck, Karll Harvey, Tim Fields, Jim Manson, Dusty Furrow, Scott Boehringer, Tracy McMaken. Row 2 - Greg Rench, Dave Tobias, Dave Jacquelmin, Craig Alexander, Scott Laughman, S. Doseck, Mike Tobias, Arthur Meyers, Mark Iddings, Scott Angle, Travis Brannon. Row 3 - Scott Manson, Jim Rench, Dan Westfall, Mark Landis, Tom Manson, Doug Simmon, Keith Counts, Jeff Lauber, Rob Girouard, Chuck Yingst, Mark Williams, Rob Tobias. Row 4 - Coach Rex Thompson, Russ Ely, Dave Alexander, Ted Fields, Mike Boehringer, Bob Grilliot, Jeff Swallow, Jeff Ryan, Rick Stephen, Kirk Tisdale, Coach Ed McCord, Coach Steve Fisher. Row 5 - C. Costello, C. Patrick, B. Platt.
For only the fourth time in school history the Covington Buccaneers finished the season with a losing record. The other three times occurred in 1947, 2-6; 1956, 2-6-1; and 1967, 3-7.
The 4-6 record established in 1977 was also only the sixth time in school history the Buccs failed to have a winning season as twice the Buccs finished at .500. Both times the Buccs finished with an even record occurred in the previous two seasons in 1975 (5-5) and 1976 (4-4-2).
Another historic fact that occurred in 1977 is the Buccs lost to rival Bradford for the second straight year, a first in school history. In the 31 years the two teams have played, Covington holds a 27-3-1 advantage over Bradford with two of the losses coming in the past two seasons.
One factor in the modest win/loss record for the Buccs is the fact of only six seniors on the roster. This forced fourth-year coach Rex Thompson to use many juniors and sophomores in the lineup, including at some skill positions.
The Buccs did have many highlights throughout the season, including a 22-14 win in the season opener against Tipp City.
After a 6-12 loss to Bradford in week two, the Buccs bounced back for a 12-0 shutout win over Miami East.
Unfortunately, two straight losses followed to Springfield Catholic Central and Sidney Lehman, but Covington again rebounded for its biggest win of the season over long-time nemesis, Versailles. In that contest the Buccs put on a defensive clinic as they held the Tigers scoreless for a 6-0 win.
Covington maintained the momentum gained over Versailles the following week and defeated Graham, 33-14. It was the highest scoring total accumulated by the offense in the entire season.
In week eight, Bethel defeated Covington 37-8 in what was the Buccs' first loss ever to the Bees. Covington had won the previous four meetings.
The loss to Bethel sent the Buccs into a tailspin as they lost the final two games of the season to Indian Lake and Urbana.
Along with the six seniors who will be lost to graduation, the Buccs say goodbye to their head coach, Rex Thompson. In four years Thompson has accumulated a 22-16-2 record, including a 9-1 record in 1974.
With numerous players returning in 1978, the Buccaneers' new head coach should have plenty of talent to re-establish a winning tradition.
Buccaneer Seniors: Karll Harvey #87, Dusty Furrow #35, Scott Boehringer #53, Tracy McMaken #13, Tim Fields #65, and Jim Manson #80.
(Images obtained from the 1978 Covington High School Yearbook.)