|2020-21 Buccs Varsity Basketball Team
Kneeling (L-R) - Grant Humphrey, Owen Boehringer, Cooper Jay, Jaden Barhorst, Tyler Owens, Britton Miller. Standing (L-R) - Head Coach Matt Gibbins, Avery Rench, Cameron Kirker, Jake Hamilton, Landon LaPoint, Jack Ballard, Wes Gooding, Asst. Coach Dean Maxson, Asst. Coach Tyler Cates. (Not Pictured: Tyler Alexander)
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For the third time in three seasons the Covington Buccaneers have a new leader at the helm as Matt Gibbins takes over as head coach after a one-year stint by Karl Ratermann. Gibbins isn't new to the program, however, as he knows the kids well after coaching the past three seasons at the junior varsity level and two years previously as the eighth grade coach.
And Gibbins has plenty of weapons returning off of a 10-14 team that dropped nine games by five points or less a year ago and was within one second from reaching the sectional final - falling to Troy Christian on a buzzer-beater.
Covington will be a senior laden team in 2020-21 with eight seniors on the roster and five of those being returning lettermen.
The Buccs' key guards will be seniors Wes Gooding (6'1), Jake Hamilton (6'4), Jaden Barhorst (5'11), Cooper Jay (5'10) and Grant Humphrey (5'9), along with junior Owen Boehringer (5'10).
The key post players will be senior Jack Ballard (6'4) and junior Tyler Alexander (6'2), while top newcomers include seniors Avery Rench (5'11) and Tyler Owens (5'11), along with junior Landon LaPoint (6'4).
Covington's depth will be tested this year will the unpredictable COVID-19 situation, but the Buccaneers have plenty of talent at the junior varsity level to move up if needed.
This unpredictability has Gibbins and his staff keeping the kids focused on the big picture.
“We have three main goals," said Gibbins. "Our first goal is to get better every week so that we are playing our best basketball at the end of the year. We aspire to win a conference championship. Most importantly we are looking to use basketball to teach these young men how to be successful in life beyond high school.”
Covington will be playing its final season in the Cross County Conference before moving into the newly formed Three Rivers Conference next season.
And the CCC is up for grabs considering the number of quality programs.
“There are a lot of really good teams and any of them could get hot and take the conference,” Gibbins said. “There are some teams that return very good players and some young but talented teams. National Trail is the defending conference champ and they return the CCC player of the year."