Over the hump

Al­covy Tigers showed steady im­prove­ment this sea­son

The Covington News - - SPORTS - By Ja­son Mur­dock

De­pend­ing on the con­text, two may not sound like much; how­ever, re­gard­ing the num­ber of wins Al­covy’s foot­ball team had this sea­son it’s enor­mous, es­pe­cially when com­pared to 2006.

Over­all, the Tigers were 2-8 this sea­son with a 1-4 Re­gion 8-AAAA, Sub-re­gion B record. It was cer­tainly a step up con­sid­er­ing last year they were 0-10 in their in­au­gu­ral cam­paign.

“We got bet­ter,” ad­mit­ted Al­covy head coach Kirk Hoff­mann, “and there’s a cou­ple rea­sons for that: our off- sea­son pro­gram and the kids. We’ve still got a long ways to go, but I think if you’ve talked to any­body (who’s) started a pro­gram it takes time and you’ve got to be pa­tient. Un­for­tu­nately, pa­tience is one those things that’s tough for ev­ery­body to hang in there with.”

The Tigers, who scored 141 points this sea­son in 10 games, av­er­aged 14.1 per game. Last sea­son they av­er­aged 10.4 points per game, scor­ing just 104 over­all.

De­fen­sively, the Tigers al­lowed 209 points this year, av­er­ag­ing 20.9 per con­test. Last sea­son they were even worse, hav­ing al­lowed 355 points (35.5 per game).

At the same to­ken, the Tigers didn’t even get into the weight room last year un­til the eighth week of the sea­son, since it

hadn’t yet been com­pleted.

“Look­ing back on it, are we do­ing it the right way?” ques­tioned Hoff­mann. “I think so (be­cause) the num­bers are good, we’re giv­ing kids the op­por­tu­nity to play and we’ve got­ten bet­ter, and that’s all you can ask.”

Last year the Tigers were shut out twice, yet this sea­son they scored at least three points in ev­ery sin­gle game. Again, it may not seem like much, but con­sid­er­ing the New­ton Rams were blanked three times this year it’s colos­sal.

Of course, with suc­cess comes a price, and in this case Al­covy is no ex­cep­tion. The Tigers will be los­ing 20 se­niors; how­ever, last sea­son the Tigers only had four se­niors on their team.

“You’ve got to take your hat off,” praised Hoff­mann re­gard­ing his up­per­class­men. “Those kids did the right thing; they played for the love of the game. I think that we as a so­ci­ety at times lose sight of the fact that this is high school foot­ball; it’s not pro­fes­sional or col­lege. Th­ese kids are out here be­cause they love the game, not be­cause they’re get­ting a pay­check, and that’s one thing I’ll re­mem­ber about this team.

“This group of kids went from ground zero to lay­ing a pretty good foun­da­tion for our pro­gram,” added Hoff­mann.

Not only will the Tigers be los­ing start­ing quar­ter­back Ryan Led­ford, but they will also lose one, if not the best, wide re­ceivers in New­ton County, Eric Strozier.

De­spite the loss of tal­ent, Hoff­mann re­mains op­ti­mistic re­gard­ing the 2008 sea­son.

“Well, when we look at the goals for next sea­son I think we need to look at the short­term,” said Hoff­mann. “We’re go­ing to get to­gether as a staff this week and set some goals for our off-sea­son pro­gram. I thought we made huge strides last year in our off-sea­son pro­gram, and that’s what we’re go­ing to talk about this week as a staff; that’s my first pri­or­ity right now.”

“I think that we as a so­ci­ety at times lose sight of the fact that this is high school foot­ball; it’s not pro­fes­sional or col­lege. Th­ese kids are out here be­cause they love the game, not be­cause they’re get­ting a pay­check, and that’s one thing I’ll re­mem­ber about this team.”

— Kirk Hoff­mann Foot­ball head coach, Al­covy High School

An­thony Banks/The Cov­ing­ton News

On the rise: The Al­covy var­sity foot­ball team showed im­prove­ment this year com­pared to last sea­son. In 2006 the Tigers were 0-10, while this year they went 2-8. In ad­di­tion, they av­er­aged more points per game (14.1) and al­lowed fewer points (20.9).

HOFF­MANN

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