|2011 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS...
The Covington Buccaneers return a strong senior class and a large roster, which hopefully translates into success of the diamond.
The Covington Buccaneers will have strength in numbers once again this year as they look to improve on a 10-18 season from a year ago - a season that ended with a loss in the sectional final to Russia.
Covington returns eight seniors to a roster of 29 kids - enough to field a junior varsity squad once again. The seniors are Andrew DeHart, Brandon Flora, Jake Stewart, Corey Haines, Ben Wilson, CJ Poling, Kellen Woloch and Dylan Fortner.
DeHart and Haines are mainstays in the outfield, while Flora and Poling shared duties last year at second base and will likely battle it out there once again. One of the two could end up at shortstop to make up for the loss of Jake Bitner, who unfortunately can't play due to injury.
Stewart has experience at various positions on the field, including the outfield, first base and on the mound. The left hander will likely see plenty of action on the mound, as will Poling, Kellen Woloch and Dylan Fortner.
Wilson is back from injury to provide stability behind the plate for the Buccs, while junior Steven Blei returns at third base. Blei will also see pitching action once again this season.
Making the move from junior varsity last season to the varsity unit this year are Kyler Deeter, Bryton Lear, Christian Carder, Sheldon Rank, Austin Angle and Ryan Craft.
Depth is a strength for the Buccaneers once again this season as 14 players will compete at the junior varsity level for possible varsity playing time.
Covington's schedule is once again challenging as it opens with five straight out of conference matchups against New Knoxville, Anna, Graham, Lehman and Versailles.
After conference games against Ansonia and Bethel, the Buccs face Russia in a double-header and follow up against Minster.
Other non-conference games are against Milton-Union, New Bremen and St. Henry, as well as a trip to Fort Loramie in April for the annual mid-season tournament.
The Cross County Conference is balanced once against with the likes of Miami East, Tri-County North, Twin Valley South, Arcanum, Bradford, Franklin Monroe, Tri-Village, Newton, Mississinawa Valley, Bethel and Ansonia all being stiff competition.
Highlighted on the schedule is the annual contest at Fifth Third Field in Dayton where this year's opponent will once again be MAC power St. Henry.