16 CAMPS: Covenant Eagles

The offseason ends Friday for the Covenant football team, which opens up the season against Atlantic Shores Christian at 5 p.m.

The Eagles will open up the season with a two-quarterback system, rotating between Gus Rose and Jay Gaffney.

"They're both looking good so far," said junior running back and wide receiver Quane Washington. "One works better in the pocket, one does really well rolling out, so that's pretty good to have."

"They both are leaders, and the team respects them both, so I think we might be able to pull this one off," said head coach Dave Rocco. "I never thought in a million years that I'd be doing this."

"I love Gus, he's like a brother to me, so I'm excited to do it," says Gaffney. "I think we can do it because we're very unselfish, both of us."

Gaffney expects the dual quarterback system to be an advantage in Friday's season opener.

"Atlantic Shores has really good defensive backs," he said. "We're looking to throw the ball, but at the same time we're trying to run the ball a lot, get outside."

The Eagles have 21 players on their roster right now, and because they have limited numbers, Rocco has limited the amount of hitting during practice. On Friday, they will get the first chance to see exactly how physical they can be.

"I want to see the overall team toughness," says Rocco. "I want to see if we can get 11 helmets to the ball on defense. I want to see us eliminate mistakes."

Washington says he's looking forward to learning "how mentally tough a team we are. Not being able to hit in practice that much, we'll see where things fall into place."

The Eagles are looking forward to the chance to play physical football, and they're also excited about being the first team in Central Virginia to hit the field.

"It's much different than practice," says Gaffney. "It's just fun to be out there in front of the crowd on a Friday night and everything."

"It's showtime for us," added Washington. "We'll be the only team in the area playing the first game, so we've got some things that we can prove."

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