Head coach: Charles Mitchell (8th season)
Last season: 29-4, lost to Jackson South Side in sub-state game
Starters lost: 4
Starters returning: 1
Players to watch: F Devin Dean, F Tyric Winfrey, G Holden Warmath, G C.J. Fayne, G Bremoris Tipton
For the most part last season, Covington used a nine-man rotation.
Eight of those players graduated, including point guard Vontae Powell, power forward Brandon Alston and center TyJuan Smith, who collectively scored nearly 50 points a game last season.
When you add in the loss of guys like Tori Bradley, Martez Logan, Myles Stark, Michael Renfro and Josh McGarity, the Chargers lost about 90 percent of its points to graduation.
“I don’t know,” head coach Charles Mitchell said when asked about expectations for this team. “We didn’t have a summer (because of COVID) and right now we’re still patching things together.”
The last two seasons, with some very experienced and talented rosters, the expectations were clear: Get to state.
Covington nearly did it last season, but lost to undefeated South Side in a sectional game.
If the Chargers are going to be in position to make another run at state this season, it will have to be done with an almost completely new cast of characters.
Devin Dean, a 6-4 senior who started at guard last season, will move to power forward or center this year. Mitchell said he grew a lot during the offseason and will be a bigger part of things this year. He’s the returning guy who played regular minutes last season.
Senior Bremoris Tipton is expected to play a lot of point guard this season and Tyric Winfrey, another senior, will see a lot of time on the wing. Junior C.J. Fayne, a standout football player, will be a key player.
Holden Warmath is a 6-2 sophomore who came off the bench a few times last season and has the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Sophomore A.C. Young is another athletic football player expected to see significant minutes.
People outside of Covington, which won the last two district titles, are certainly expecting the Chargers to take a step backward this season. Mitchell, however, is not ready to concede anything just yet.
Over the last seven seasons, Covington has made it at least to the region semifinals six times.
“Numbers and names change, but expectations are still the same,” Mitchell said. “We’ve got a lot of people in different positions. Right now we’re just learning to get along with each other, love each other and play together.”