COVINGTON, La. — Covington’s 6-4 campaign ended at the hands of Ruston in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.

This fall, the Lions return 13 starters, 8 on offense, highlighted by wide receivers DeKengie James and Brandon Brumfield as well as junior running back Justin Chatman.

Last year, Chatman totaled 1,200 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns.

“Showed flashes of greatness. Again, with those young guys it’s just finding that consistency. He’s really taken a huge step forward as far as his buy-in to the weights and things like that. His offseason buy-in, he’s been working really hard, and I think he’s going to see that pay off ten-fold,” says Covington head football coach Greg Salter.

The biggest position battle this offseason will be at quarterback between juniors Brandon Coakley and Jerome Elzy.

Coakley was the full-time starter last year, throwing for 700 yards and 7 touchdowns, while adding 170 yards rushing and a score on the ground.

“I think over the last six years, four of us have won the district championship and the common denominator with all of those is usually that veteran, that seasoned quarterback at that position. It can take you a long way,” says Salter.

Defensively, Covington returns 5 starters including the quarterback of that unit in four-year starter Bryce Blackwell.

“He’s that leader on the field. He’s the kid that he just does everything right. He’s a 4.4 student in the classroom. He’s the first one at practice. He’s there every extra day. Doesn’t miss a rep in the weight room. Pushes his teammates. Holds everybody accountable. He’s an extension of us. So, he led us with 120 tackles and 4 interceptions last year. So, we expect him to be just as good,” says Salter.

District 6-5A is wide open in 2022.

Head Coach Greg Salter believes the Lions’ formula for success lies in their ability to focus on three simple things.

“Finding that consistency, relying on that valuable experience last year, playing with confidence is going to put us in that mix where we’re competing every week,” says Salter.

Covington opens the 2022 regular season on Friday, September 2nd against John Ehret.