|2013 COVINGTON BUCCS BOYS TRACK TEAM...
Kyle Moore, the Covington boy's track coach, is excited about the potential the Buccaneers possess in 2013 - and with good reason. Moore has 33 kids on the roster and returns the bulk of the team from a year ago.
"We should have a great year," said Moore. "The key is keeping everyone healthy."
Covington will be strong across the board, in sprints, relays and field events. The Buccs do have some big shoes to fill, however, in the graduation losses of Sam Christian and Isaiah Winston.
"Those were big losses," said Moore of Christian and Winston. "Sam gave us 15 to 20 points per meet in the shot and discuss and Isaiah was key contributor in our relay events. We'll have to find a way to pick up the slack, but I think we have guys who can do that."
Covington has several candidates who will be counted on to contribute in the shot and discuss; senior Matt Reck, juniors Jordan Wolfe and Tyler Henry, sophomore Logan Perkins and freshman Ian Fries.
Plus, several younger kids, including freshman Brandon Magee will be counted on to fill in to the relay events in the absence of Winston.
"We have some younger kids who will contribute," Moore. said. "(Brandon) Magee had a great year in junior high last year and he should step in and help a lot."
The strength of Covington's team will likely be in sprints, hurdles and mid-distance events with the return of seniors Troy Cron and Dustin Fickert, along with juniors Lane White, A.J. Ouellette and Dalton Bordelon.
Cron returns after qualifying for state in the 110 meter hurdles. He's' also the school record holder in both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles and has the potential to make it to Columbus once again.
He'll be pushed by Bordelon and sophomore Ben Miller.
"Troy keeps getting better every year," Moore said. "If he stays healthy he should have another big year. Ben (Miller) and Dalton (Bordelon) aren't far behind. Dalton is just a little over a second behind the school record in the 300."
Junior, Lane White also returns after a record-breaking sophomore campaign that concluded with a 4th place finish at the state meet in the 400 meter dash. White broke a 28-year school record in the 400 with a time of 49.43 and is coming off of a runner-up performance in the 2013 indoor state meet in Akron.
Dustin Fickert also placed at the indoor state meet in the 800 (taking 5th), while A.J. Ouellette performed at the indoor state meet as well, just a week after finishing his wrestling season with a fourth place finish at state.
"All three of those guys have worked very hard to get stronger in the off-season," said Moore. "They ran in some indoor meets this winter, so they are already ahead of where they were last year at this time."
Senior Trent Tobias returns to lead the Buccs in the pole vault, while senior Alex Baskerville returns in the high jump along with newcomer Ryan Craft.
The Buccs are still unsettled in the long jump, however.
"Trent, Alex and Ryan will lead us in the field events," Moore said. "We're not sure yet about long jump. Gage Looker and Troy Cron have done it in the past and (freshman) Shane Straw did it in junior high. A.J. (Ouellette) has been talking about giving it a try. Hopefully someone emerges in that event."
Nathan Dunn and Alex Schilling are two youngsters looking to have breakout sophomore seasons for the Buccs in the 1600 and 3200.
"Nathan and Alex have worked very, very hard," said Moore. "Nathan has already cut three minutes off his cross country time, so he should help us a lot in the two mile. Alex has improved a great deal too. They both should have good years."
The potential is there for an historic season on the track for the Covington Buccaneers.