The Covenant Eagles head into the new season with much more experience on their roster than last year's team. The 2012 Eagles have twelve seniors, which is three times the amount they had last season.
As they prepare for their upcoming schedule, they say that experience has translated into leadership. "We've just been going 100% full time, and all our seniors are pushing the younger guys a lot," said senior tight end John Mead.
Head coach Dave Rocco adds, "there's leadership a lot by example and how hard they're working. Everybody else says 'i better work that hard.' There's not one player on this entire team that doesn't give
100-percent effort, and that's something special to have as a coach."
The seniors say one reason they're keeping the intensity up in practice is because they know it's now or never. "There's just a lot more of a push, and more of a sense of urgency," said senior running back and cornerback Jamie Gaston. "I feel like we've got a really good group that pushes each other and really wants to do well."
The Eagles are a much more experienced team than last year, but even the seniors are going through a learning process right now.
The coaches have implemented a new spread offense that the players are just getting familiar with. "All the guys are adapting pretty well," said Mead. "We go through a new offense every year, it seems like. This one seems like it's working really well, so I'm really happy with it."
Coach Rocco says his players are adapting well. "All these kids are extremely smart and they pick stuff up so quickly. You can change anything on them, and they pick it up."
In addition to their ability to adapt, the Eagles say one of their biggest strengths is unity. "We have really good camaraderie," said Gaston. We've been around each other for a while, and there's a lot of mutual respect for each other. I feel like we have respect for the younger guys, and they have repect for us."