August 6, 2008 COVINGTON
|Coach Miller talks to the team about taking their game to another level.
The Covington football fans who stayed up late for the second annual "Midnight Hit" were treated to some up close action for the climax of the evening.
After running through drills for ninety minutes, the 2008 Buccaneer players lined up at midfield in front of the home side stands to await the official time when they could hit under OHSAA rules.
Lined around the kids were fans of all ages as Coach Miller invited everyone down to the field to witness the first live contact of the season.
As the clock ticked down a group of youngsters began the count down from ten and the first group of players erupted into contact at the sound of Coach Miller's whistle.
Throughout the nearly thirty minutes of contact there were some impressive hits - most notably coming from senior Andy Sparks - who on three occasions put a teammate on his back, once as a defender, once as a runner and another as a blocker.
Several lineman, who stood out due to their impressive play, also recorded pancake blocks.
Also impressive was the overall team speed and the effort the kids gave in what was a long, but rewarding day. It was obvious the session was run at a much quicker pace than last season and that was due to the experience the returning players gained from a year in Coach Miller's system.
"I think we are at a different level right now than we were last year at this time," Coach Miller stated to the kids in regards to how hard they play. "But we have a ways to go. We're not there yet."
There were mistakes made throughout the evening as there were several dropped passes and fumbles. The ball was slick due to the sweat of the players and the dew forming, but the conditions where no different than what the kids will face on Friday nights. Holding onto the football is something Coach Miller feels his team needs to improve on.
"Those (fumbles and dropped passes) are drive killers," he said. "It hurt us last year against Lehman and we have to clean that up. We have to finish drives."
In all, it was a good night for the Buccs because they found out where they stand and what they need to work on heading into two important live contact scrimmages.
"We have to keep raising our level of play each and every day," Miller continued. "Eaton will be a good test for us because they have a solid program. We have to pick up our intensity and emotion for Saturday and it starts tomorrow in practice."
Where they will be hitting.