|2015 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS...
The Covington Buccaneers head into the 2015 season looking to capture the magic from a historic tournament run from a year ago.
The Covington Buccaneers are coming off an historic season where they won the program's first sectional title since 1978 and the first district championship in 42 years.
And with plenty of talent returning from last year's magical tournament run, excitement is at an all-time high for coach Mitch Hirsch and the 2015 Covington Buccaneers.
First, Covington did lose three players to graduation in Jake Albright, Daine Peters and Justin Williams, who was the muscle behind the Buccs with his towering home runs and gritty pitching during the tournament.
But Covington returns ace pitcher in senior Austin Lefeld, who came of age during the post season last year by displaying toughness on the mound. And if Lefeld is the "Ace", senior Ty Boehringer is the wild card in the Buccs' lineup as he came through with big innings during the tournament a year ago and is capable of shutting down hitters with a mixture off off-speed pitches and a respected fastball.
Covington also has other arms to lean on in sophomores Nathan Blei, Tristin Sowers and Christian Nelson. Blei and Sowers both saw varsity action on the mount a year ago, while Nelson hopes to make a name for himself in the rotation in his first varsity season.
And the pitching staff will have a talented defense behind them as the entire outfield remains in tact from a year ago in junior Jared Williams, sophomore Tristin Sowers and junior Levi Winn. Also available in the outfield are juniors James Grilliot and Noah Thomas, both with varsity experience.
Senior Drew Schaurer remains a mainstay at second, while Blei returns at short when he's not on the mound.
Ty Boehringer and Christian Nelson both see action at first, while Lefeld or newcomer Branden Robinson, a sophomore, holds down the fort at third.
Sam Sherman, a senior, is a wall behind the plate for the second consecutive season.
Offensively, Covington will miss the long ball capability of Justin Williams, a player who was an intimidating presence at the plate due to the sway the ball came off his bat. Rarely does a bat with that power come along at the high school level, but the Buccaneers still have a strong offensive lineup and more depth than in years past.
Covington will be tested greatly throughout a brutal schedule that consists of traditional baseball powers in Fort Loramie, Russia, Versailles, Lehman and St. Henry to go along with a tough league schedule.