|Deron White and the younger players have followed the leadership of the seniors.
|Chance Setters and the Buccs move on to the second quarter of the season after a strong performance in the off-season program.
JUNE 29, 2013 - COVINGTON
Friday afternoon the Covington football team had just finished competing against one another in their annual lift-a-thon and the team came together to listen to coach Dave Miller recognize the winners of each weight class and the pound-for-pound champion.
After announcing senior Chris Homan as the lightweight winner, Miller blurted out the combined lift total for the middleweight class and then announced senior Chance Setters as the winner. But as Setters walked to the front of the weight room to collect his trophy it was apparent that something didn't ad up as Setters had a bewildered look on his face.
Justin Williams was then announced as the winner of the heavyweight class and AJ Ouellette followed as the pound-for-pound king, but the cloud of doubt remained as Setters became increasingly uneasy with the results of his own weight class.
This uneasiness led to a discussion between Setters and the Buccaneer coaching staff as Chance brought to their attention that he was sure he came in second to another senior, Dalton Bordelon. The lift weights were re-tallied and sure enough, Bordelon had edge Setters by a minimal margin - a fact that would have been missed if it weren't for the honesty, integrity and selflessness of Chance Setters.
"That's a young man with character," said Covington coach Dave Miller of Setters as he rectified the situation in front of the entire team. "That's an individual who believes in team-first before himself. He (Setters) worked hard enough to deserve that trophy, but he had the integrity to make sure we got it right."
It's early in the summer and the Buccs have a lot to improve upon before the beginning of the season, but Setter's actions resemble what Covington football is all about and why the 2013 team has the makings of something special.
"This could be a special group," Miller said. "I like what I see so far, but we still have a ways to go before we can determine what type of team we'll be."
The high school football season is similar to a game in the fact that there are four quarters - the first quarter of the season being the off-season conditioning program, before the X's and O's begin to take shape through the ten camp days.
Like a game, winning the first quarter sets the tone for the remainder of the season and by all indications from the off-season program, the Buccs won the first quarter with their overall performance.
"Really happy, very pleased," said Miller in regards to his team's effort through the first phase of the season. "Our participation in the off-season program has been better than any other time since I've been here."
And the proof is in the pudding as record numbers were put up in the lift-a-thon.
"We've had some strong teams, last year probably being the strongest from top to bottom, but this group has exceeded what we did last year," Miller said. "And to think, overall we are younger than we were last year."
One of the reasons for a record-breaking lift-a-thon performance has been the leadership of a quality senior class and some juniors who have emerged into leadership roles through leading by example.
"It starts with the seniors," emphasized Miller. "Dalton (Bordelon), AJ (Ouellette), Justin (Williams) they set the bar very high and everyone else is following suit. Our younger kids have bought in because of the example of our seniors."
That example has been a very adamant commitment to improve every day, even if it means going above and beyond what is expected from the coaching staff.
Several seniors have organized training sessions on their own - outside of the off-season conditioning program - and have even given teammates rides who may not have a way to get there. It offered kids who played spring sports a way to get in some extra training (without coaches) in preparation for the upcoming football season and several kids took advantage of the opportunity.
"It's right there on our board," said Miller in regards to who has bought in. "There's a reason those kids held the trophies from the lift-a-thon. You look up at the board and you see where they are with their attitude, accountability, effort and toughness and it all translates into performance."
With the lift-a-thon signaling the end of the first quarter of the season, its obvious the Buccaneers have won that quarter.
Now, like a game, it's a matter of taking it to another level in the second quarter - camps and two-a-days.
"We're not there yet, and the kids understand that," Miller said. "Did we get off to a good start? Yes. Do we have a long way to go? Yes, we really do have a long way to go."
It's obvious Coach Miller and the kids are on the same page as senior Dalton Bordelon brought the team came together recently after an outstanding team effort in a morning lifting and conditioning session.
"Anyone who is satisfied is not doing this team any good," Bordelon barked at his teammates. "If you are satisfied, you are in the wrong place. We have to come back here (for camp) and do even better. Good isn't good enough."
Not in Covington.