The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Sports

August 16, 2013

Attitude adjustment in Covington

Trojans have taken a new approach to 2013 football season

COVINGTON, Ind. — A lot of things went wrong a year ago for the Covington football program.

In the first season for head coach Travis Brown, the Trojans were just 2-8 and they season ended with a 58-6 setback to the North Vermillion Falcons in the first round of the sectional tournament.

While some key injuries played a role in the team’s disappointing season, there was another factor that had to change — their attitude.

“Physically, mentally and our attitudes — everything had to change this year,’’ said Covington senior lineman Tanner Jumps. “We have been working more as a team this year and we’ve bonded.’’

And those changes started at the end of last year.

“We got together at the end of last year, and decided that we were going to work hard during the offseason,’’ Jumps said. “We wanted everyone to follow us, and luckily, everyone did. We’ve been working since winter.

“We only had a few in the weight room a year ago and we didn’t have any summer workouts last year, and that is one thing that can develop the team bonding. This year, we had nearly everyone working together and we hope the outcome is better.’’

And all of that time, the Trojans have spent during the offseason and during the summer has brought this group together.

“We really didn’t have the best chemistry last year,’’ Covington senior Nick Ratcliff said. “Not only did we work in the weight room and on the practice field, but we also worked hard on developing our team bonding this year.’’

According to senior lineman Cole Stalcup, there wasn’t really any option after winning just two games a year ago after having a pair of six-win seasons in their first two years with the program.

“We had to get ourselves better,’’ he said. “We didn’t have much intensity last year and that is also one thing we are going to pick up this year.’’

The change from last year to this year has definitely been noticed by the Covington coaching staff.

“We’re still working on some things,’’ Brown said. “But with their work ethic this summer and during the offseason, I think we are going to be in some games.

“Now how we finish those games is a different story. If we had the right attitude we can have a good season.’’

A year ago, Covington had seven of its eight losses by 19 points or more, so being in a close game will be a different experience for the Trojans. And those defeats left a sour taste in their mouths.

“During the offseason and here in the preseason, we’ve been working hard to get rid of that bad taste,’’ Jumps said. “But, we know that we have to prove it on the field.’’

The Trojans will look to Jumps and Stalcup to be a big part of their turn around. Those two are part of a big line that averages about 6-foot-1 and more than 225 pounds.

“Things start at the line in football,’’ Stalcup said. “We’re just going to do the best that we can up front, and hopefully, that will lead to success this season.’’

And with that size, the Trojans have spent a lot of time working on their team speed.

“Since we are fairly big up front, we’ve spent a lot of time working on our speed,’’ Brown said. “Sometimes a year ago, we were a little slower than I would like.

“The work that we’ve done in the offseason is showing here in preseason practices and I hope it carries over into the games.’’

The coach isn’t the only one that is happy to see a big line.

Noble, who was inserted into the starting lineup a year ago in the second game, likes what he sees as well.

“I’m really comfortable with the group of guys in front of me,’’ he said. “And, I think we’ve got some really good guys to carry the ball behind them. That should definitely be the strength of our offense.’’

Ratcliff pointed out that those big bodies on the defensive line should also help. The Trojans allowed an average of 37.7 points per game.

“We have high expectations for our line, our backfield and our defense,’’ he said. “We are going to be more physical, and hopefully, that means we are going to be better.’’

One of the biggest things that could help Covington this season is better health.

A year ago, the Trojans lost some key seniors in the opening weeks of the season, as they lost their first five games.

“We had a couple injuries last year and it kind of sunk the ship for us, because the morale and the attitude was negative,’’ Brown said. “As coaches, we should have done a better job of bringing energy and get everyone on the same page.’’

So, does that put any added emphasis on the start of this year?

“No, not really,’’ Brown said. “You can’t hang your hat on just one or two games. We want to be better for the entire season and some early success would definitely be a step in the right direction.’’

Additionally, Brown likes the direction of his program with 33 kids on this year’s roster, including 16 freshmen.

“Our numbers are up from a year ago,’’ he said. “And our middle school numbers are up. So I would say thing are looking up for us.’’

But, all of that youth has created a little problem for the program.

“We’ve only got seven players that can drive,’’ said Brown, who admits his other players either walk or get rides out to the Trojans Sports Complex.

Covington travels to Turkey Run tonight for a 7 p.m. scrimmage against the Warriors.

The Trojans will open the regular season with a pair of home games. South Vermillion takes on Covington on Aug. 23, while the WRC opener for the Trojans will be on Aug. 30 against the Rockville Rox.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville girls track photo 1 Record-setting day for Hall DANVILLE -- Athletes, coaches and fans were all giving advice to Danville sophomore Imani Hall in the high jump. While she appreciated the encouragement, Hall just focused on what she had been doing in practice for the past few weeks and it worked. H

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0423 - Danville baseball photo Vikings no match for Tigers, loss 11-3 DANVILLE -- Urbana came a calling on Danville at Danville Stadium for a Big 12 Conference game with its ace Conner Gremar (Parkland College recruit) on the mound. The Tigers also brought their hitting sticks with them to defeat Danville 11-3. Danvill

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT-CN0423 - Seeger softball photo 1 Patriots take over in sixth, beat Mustangs WEST LEBANON, Ind. - Seeger hosted Fountain Central in softball and the lead went back and forth through much of the game. All that changed in the sixth inning when the Patriots sent 11 batters to the plate and scored a half-dozen runs on seven hits

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vikings softball easily cruises past Chargers DANVILLE -- Alissa Peelman overcame a tough start and hit a home run as the Danville softball team beat Champaign Centennial 12-2 in Big 12 conference action on Tuesday. Peelman gave up both of the Chargers' runs in the first inning but only gave up

    April 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0422 - Salt Fork SB photo secondary Storm cruise past Cornjerkers CATLIN -- On a windy and drizzly afternoon in Catlin, two teams with a combined 16 wins and one loss met up in what seemed to be on paper a heavy weight fight in Vermilion Valley Conference play. The Salt Fork Storm came out of the gates strong and b

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0422 - Local roundup photo LOCAL ROUNDUP: Cox tosses no-hitter for Westville DANVILLE -- Westville right-hander Tanner Cox was in total control on Monday against the Schlarman Academy Hilltoppers at Danville Stadium. Cox tossed a five-inning perfect game, striking out 11 of the 15 batters he faced as the Tigers defeated the H

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local Sports Schedule TUESDAY Prep Baseball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m. Turkey Run at Covington, 4 p.m. Heritage at Schlarman Academy, 4:30 p.m. Hoopeston Area at Milford, 4:30 p.m. Urbana at Danville, 4:30 p.m. Prep Softball Fountain Central at Seeger, 3:30 p.m

    April 22, 2014

  • No Headline Provided PREP BASEBALL At Bismarck Oakwood 12, Bismarck-Henning 1 Oakwood 213 121 2 -- 12 16 0 Bismarck-Henning 000 100 0 -- 1 4 4 WP -- Taylor Turner. LP -- Strawser. 2B -- Turner, Slade. RBIs -- Landon Turner 2, Slade 2, Anderson 2, Girton, Vinson, Abbott.

    April 22, 2014

  • SPT- CN0420 - Danville baseball photo 1 Vikings continue to learn Vikings continue to learn BY AARON PATTERSON sports@dancomnews.com

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0420- NV Softball photo 2 The Mustangs, Falcons split twinbill VEEDERSBURG, Ind. - Too many mistakes cost the Fountain Central softball team any chance of defeating North Vermillion in the first game of their double header. At least that is how Mustang head coach Allison Alexander saw the game. "We had nine erro

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

E-edition
NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014


Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here: http://smu.gs/1iCWKnP

Must Read
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown