Miners make history with out-of-state opener
BAUXITE — The Bauxite Miners will make history today when they take the field to open their 2019 football season. For the first time in school history, Bauxite will travel out of state for a regular-season game, taking on the Covington, Tennessee, Chargers under the lights.
“This is the first time for Bauxite and I think it is the first time for anybody in Saline County (to play out-ofstate opponent),” said Head Coach Daryl Patton.
Patton and company are excited to get off the practice field and into game action this week.
“Covington is very, very good,” Patton said. “They are well-coached and very disciplined. They are super talented on defense and offense where they have a couple of really good running backs that are just game-breakers. We have our work cut out for us, but we are tired of practicing. We want to see somebody else and it’s the start of the 2019 season and our kids are looking forward to it. Our kids are up for the challenge.”
Bauxite will be without a number of stars from last year’s squad due to graduation, including running back Dawson Dabbs and quarterback Seth Mcdowell. The two combined for nearly 2,500 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns a season ago.
“We are looking for execution on offense and we want to be balanced — take what the defense is giving us,” Patton said. “We have to finish off plays with points. Defensively, we have a couple of injuries but we have to swarm to the football and try to create some turnovers and
really limit the big plays from Covington.”
Covington finished runnerup in the state finals last season, losing 21-14 to Alcoa.
The Chargers ended their season with a 14-1 record.
Running back MJ Hayes returns for Covington after leading the team with 141 carries and 1,399 yards, including 15 touchdowns a season ago.
Among this year’s 37 players suiting up for the Chargers, 13 are seniors.
Opening kick is set for 7 p.m.
Covington High School located just north of Memphis.
Patton said he plans to break the trip up for his team, including a walkthrough at West Memphis High School before suiting up for the game.
Bauxite Head Coach Daryl Patton mans the sidelines during game last season. Today, the Miners head to Covington, Tennessee, to challenge the 2018 state runner-up Chargers to open the 2019 season. Opening kick is planned for 7 p.m.