| DOWNLOAD ROSTER (PDF)
Dave Miller and the Covington Buccaneers have heard the same questions over and over throughout the summer from people wondering what's in store for the 2014 football season.
How can you replace an A.J. Ouellette?
How can you replace Dalton Bordelon, Justin Williams and Jordan Wolfe?
How can you replace a senior class that many rank as the best senior class to come through Covington in a long time?
Are you rebuilding?
Dave Miller is candid about that group of special kids, but doesn't buy into the thought of those who think Covington is in a rebuilding mode.
"That was a special group and I cherished every moment I had with them," Miller said. "You can't replace them, but I don't look at us in a rebuilding phase. I look at us in a retooling phase. We're going to be a different type of team this year."
Which means you won't see as many 70, 80 or 90 yard runs, big plays as the result of a once-in-a-generation athlete.
What you will see is the style of football that puts a smile on Dave Miller's face - three yards here, four yards there, first downs and move the chains.
"Stay on schedule," emphasized Miller in regards to his team's approach in 2014. "We have to execute, protect the football and control the time of possession."
With just 34 kids on the roster, including just four seniors, the Buccs field its youngest team since Dave Miller took over at Covington in 2007.
But Miller doesn't care what the Buccs don't have in regards to numbers and returning starters. What he does care about is the quality of collective individuals he has in black and white uniforms.
"I'd rather have the 34 kids we have than have 10 or 15 more who didn't really want to be here," he said. "From top to bottom, these kids have bought in. This is the most complete group I've had since I've been here in regards to participation and accountability in our summer program - and that says a lot because we've had some very good groups in the past. These kids work very hard."
Still, the key for Covington in 2014 will be how well the team matures together as a unit.
"We'll have to find a way to overcome our lack of game experience," Miller said. "Practice experience is one thing, but the key for us is how fast we can mature with game experience."
And Covington is learning by fire with three brutal scrimmages against the likes of Milton Union, Eaton and Versailles. Then, the Buccs host St. Henry in the season opener.
"We're right into the fire right away and we wouldn't want it any other way," said Miller. "I like our scrimmages because each one of those teams give us different looks and all three programs are traditionally strong. I love having St. Henry on the schedule in week one because you have to come out ready to play right away. We couldn't ask for a better August in regards to competition."
From there, Covington has nine weeks of Cross County Conference games with some huge match ups with against years playoff teams in Miami East, Tri-County North and National Trail, along with several other teams who many feel will challenge the top CCC teams from a year ago.
"Tri-County North only lost about four seniors and I've heard Twin Valley South will be much better," Miller said. "But we can't worry that. We have to take it one week, one day, one play at a time and focus on maxing out in our effort. If we do that, everything else will take care of itself."
The more things change, the more they stay the same - in Covington.