|A.J. Ouellette runs in the open field during the passing scrimmage at Northmont.
JULY 14, 2012 - ENGLEWOOD
Covington coach Dave Miller uses passing scrimmages as an opportunity to test the competitive desire of his players. With that, he's never gets too caught up in the scores of the scrimmages.
"The whole thing about these is I want to see our kids compete, fly around 100-miles-per-hour and make plays," said Miller in regards to passing scrimmages. "And I felt, overall, our kids competed very well today."
With the way the format goes with the Northmont passing scrimmage it's difficult for fans to keep score due to the one and two-point conversions, but Covington managed to open the morning session with wins over New Miami and Brookville.
"I felt we came out ready to play this morning and played pretty well," said Miller. "We did some nice things on both sides of the ball."
After a one hour break for lunch, the Buccs took on Anna and managed to overcome a lackluster effort in gaining the win.
"We didn't play with the emotion and intensity that I like to see when we played Anna," Miller explained. "Don't get me wrong, we didn't play horrible by any means. But we didn't play with the same enthusiasm we had earlier. That's something we'll need to work on - being consistent."
After Miller reminded his kids of what was expected, the Buccs responded in a big way with wins over Springboro and Springfield to advance the the final against Northmont.
"Now I liked the way the kids responded by coming out and competing very hard against Springboro and Springfield," Miller praised. "They are two bigger schools, but the kids didn't care. They went out there and competed and that's what we wanted to see."
And things got a little testy against Springfield, which is an understatement considering the trash talking that was going on.
"There was some talking, but our kids kept their composure," Miller explained. "I liked how we responded there because you never know when we might see that (trash talking) again."
In the final, Covington ran into a potent passing offense in Northmont and dropped its only contest of the afternoon.
"They (Northmont) hit a couple of big plays on us early and we never responded the way we should have," said Miller. "That's the only time today I would say I was a little disappointed in our effort. Yeah, we had a little lull against Anna, but our effort against Northmont should have been much better."
Covington could use the excuse that the kids were likely on tired legs after many kids played both ways through the six scrimmages, but Miller sees it differently.
"No, we won't use that as an excuse," Miller said adamantly about being tired. "We pride ourselves on being better conditioned and I think the kids feel the same way."
Still, it was a solid overall effort by Covington and one the kids can use as motivation with two-a-days around the corner. There were a lot of positives, but plenty of things that need to be corrected.
"This was a really positive scrimmage for us," said Miller. "Competitiveness, I like how we competed and that's the biggest thing. It speaks well of our seniors because they showed some leadership today."
With Covington being primarily a running team and playing a little out of its element with all passing, the Buccs still won five of the six scrimmages, which speaks volumes. It shows the potential is there for another fine season.
"I like where we are right now with our mindset," Miller said. "The kids are working to get better. The potential is definitely there, but potential means nothing if you don't reach it. Our job now is reaching that potential."
Because "potentially" the Buccs can hang with anybody.