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COVINGTON ACADEMY: Re-tooled football program starting to feel 'at home'
Covington Academy Football
Covington Academy football coach and athletic director Travis Price warms up for the second full football seaosn. -photo by Daniel Richardson

COVINGTON, Ga. — Coaches and players for Covington Academy are raring to get back to playing football for what will be their second full season in a row. 

After a layoff that began in 2015 and carried over into the 2016 season, the conditions are finally right for the private school to take another step in the right direction toward establishing a solid football program.

Last year didn’t begin or turn out how head coach Travis Price and his team wanted, in the program’s first year back, but Price said they’re looking to capitalize on how it ended.

“We finished off the season with a win against Twiggs Academy, and we have most of our players returning this year,” Price said. “We are short a couple guys, but we do have a lot of returning players. So my goal this year is to pick up right where we left off. And I think a realistic goal for basically a second-year program is if we can get close to the .500 mark or at the .500 mark. I think that would be a great year.”

Fielding a 16-man roster comes with a unique set of challenges – challenges 40+ man GHSA-playing rosters don’t have. For Covington Academy, an injury to a critical performer puts the entire game plan in turmoil. 

But program depth is building, slowly but surely. 

This season, with a returning quarterback in Hunter Hudgins, Price is confident. The addition of Alcovy transfer Caden Cook gives Price the luxury of flexibility – something new to his program.

“I have a guy like Hudgins who's able to play in the quarterback position, but he's also an awesome tackler,” Price said. “He does a number of different things. Now I could use him without the fear of losing [him] to an injury -- I have another guy that I can use if needed. So I'm going to be able to use both of those guys. I want to be able to use them in multiple roles other than just quarterback, and I don't have to be restrained from the fear of an injury to the quarterback.”

With a retooled roster and a renewed enthusiasm for the program, the school’s community is feeling the excitement of a fresh start. The Bulldogs are slated to play home games this season at Earl O’Neal Sports Complex in Conyers, Georgia — something exciting and new for Price, who’s also the school’s athletic director.

“This will be our first season ever having home games,” Price said. “We're excited about that; it'll give the community an opportunity to actually come out and visit and see us playing on the home field instead of having to travel with us. So that excites us about this year. And the excitement of the kids that are returning -- we've got five seniors this year. They'll be playing their final season, and that's exciting.”

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