|Justin Williams is in persuit of a ball carrier during the All-Star game at Welcome Stadium.
JUNE 13, 2014 - DAYTON
Throughout their four years of high school, A.J. Ouellette, Dalton Bordelon and Justin Williams didn't care one bit about individual awards or accolades. They were all about team success and team accomplishments.
Naturally, they were the three leaders of a senior class that was special in so many ways. They led through hard work, attitude, preparation, dedication and most of all - effort.
For there efforts, the trio was rewarded by being selected to play in the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association North-South All-Star Game at Dayton's Welcome Stadium on Friday - one of just two teams to have three players on the roster.
For one final night, these three Covington players got to suit up to represent Covington High School in Buccaneer football helmets - and boy, did these three kids put Covington in the limelight with the way they played on the North squad.
Williams played linebacker and special teams and had several tackles in both areas - even though the rules of the game eliminated blitzing.
At Covington, people were accustom to seeing Williams making plays in the backfield as one of the surest tacklers the program has seen over the years. In this game, Williams was forced to drop into coverage, but he still made his presence felt in the middle of the field and in the flats covering backs out of the backfield.
Dalton Bordelon played nearly every position on the defensive line, from out on the edge to face up on the center. And Bordelon was a terror inside, consistently giving offensive lineman fits with his burst off of the ball and relentless effort in chasing down ball carriers.
In All-Star games, holding is rarely called, so Bordelon was blatantly held a lot. Still, he was able to fight through it to make plays in the backfield or to rush passers who were attempting to throw downfield. His "Psycho" mentality that Covington fans were accustom to seeing over four years raised eyebrows of many coaches from around the area who were on hand to watch.
Lastly, A.J. Ouellette was unbelievable. He ripped off several highlight reel runs where he broke numerous tackles, carried defenders down field and broke away with blazing speed. Ouellette scored three times in the 45-26 win for the North squad and for his efforts was named the game's "Most Valuable Player".
And Ouellette's performance drew high praise from several coaches, particularly a coach from Northmont.
"The Ouellette kid is the best player on the field," said the coach in the third quarter after Ouellette broke off a 30-yard touchdown run.
Actually, all three of the Covington kids drew very high praise - praise that came from the coaches who were selected to coach the all-star game.
"I must tell you, those Covington kids are awesome kids," the coach said. "I don't know what you guys are doing over there in Covington, but A.J., Dalton and Sunshine (Justin Williams) are some great kids. Those three have motors that don't stop and they are very respectful young men. Your coach is doing a great job when he can produce kids like that."
Kids like that - are kids that are special, which is what we are seeing at Covington under coach Dave Miller. It's about effort and "Maxing Out" in opportunities. That's the message that is being delivered to the kids from a very young age.
The evidence in effort came in one of the most insignificant plays of the game - on a punt by the North squad that resulted in a fair catch by the South team. On the play, all three Covington kids were in the game and they were the first kids down the field surrounding the return player as he caught the ball.
That one play is what signifies what Covington football is all about - effort.
And effort is what led to a great performance by all three Buccaneer players and Ouellette being named "MVP".