Nate Bresson and Kobe Covington earn All-State in football plus the
TORRINGTON: You know, I’m kind of sad the football season for the Torrington Raiders is over. There have been so many great stories to tell this season, that it’s hard to see it end.
Well, I’ve got one more for you about a pair of Raiders who earned the highest reward one can get in high school, All-State.
All-State is about as big a deal as they come and the two selected from Torrington played huge roles in the team’s remarkable 9-1 regular season record which earned them a home playoff game.
Tight End Nate Bresson and offensive lineman Kobe Covington were named to the prestigious All-State team and each embodied all that was good about the Raiders program this year.
Each were fierce, hard-nosed competitors on the field but good citizens off of it, something that fit head coach Gaitan Rodriguez’s requirement that his players be “Warrior Gentlemen”.
Bresson, who it seems likely will be attended a prep school after graduation next June, was the missing piece to the Torrington offense from a year ago.
That big, strong, good hands tight end that is essential to any balanced football squad at any level.
He and fellow senior Connor Finn, who have been playing together since their early days of middle school, had a rhythm that grew from those years of connecting all over the field.
After missing his junior year with a foot injury, Bresson worked his way back into the flow this season, peaking at just the right time towards the end of the memorable year when he dominated anyone attempting to cover him.
Don’t forget, Bresson was also a key contributor on the defensive side of the ball and had a stand out game on both sides of the ball during the Class L quarterfinal game against Wethersfield that caught the attention of many a college coach.
A gentle, well-spoken young man who leaves the Torrington football program in much better shape than when he got here, Bresson represents all that is good in the Raiders program.
Covington was, simply put, an opposing coach’s nightmare from both sides of the line.
He was recognized for his work on the offensive line but often destroyed plays on the defensive end at nose tackle.
To watch the opposing player line up against Covington was always s show in itself. More often than not, that player landed flat on his stomach from the latest Covington pancake block.
As fiery as they come, this young man was part of a group that played together for a good long time and understood what the other player was going to do at any moment.
Opposing teams had to game plan for how to handle the many weapons the Raiders threw at them on defense, none more so than Covington.
That was a huge advantage for the Raiders who had any number of defensive players who could take advantage of any double team that might come his way.
One of the things Rodriguez worked on when he first came on three years ago was the strength and conditioning aspect of his team.
You will find no better example of a young man who built his strength and in turn it elevated his game all the way to All-State.
NOTES: On the night before their last regular season game on Thanksgiving Day against Watertown, both Bresson and Covington, along with the rest of their teammates, took part in a tradition known as the “Burning of the Shoe.”
On a cold, dark night on the practice field at the high school, the entire team gathered around a pair of burning cleats and reflected on their time on the football field with their brothers.
With only the light from the rising moon and a small light from the bleachers visible, emotions were raw as each player got to say whatever they wanted, good or bad about their experience.
The seniors go first, expressing what their time on the team meant to them, followed by the juniors, whose team it will be next year.
The upperclassmen spoke of their love for their brothers and how much football played a major role in their lives over the past four years.
Football, unlike most other sports, is that game that instills a family feeling to its very core.
On the gridiron, these young men are warriors, in that circle they were family. A family that will serve them well far into their futures as they recall back to their days in the trenches with their brothers.
High school sports has that aspect to it. No matter where these young men end up, they will remember what it was like when they first became men, teammates and brothers.
It’s been a great run, thanks for the memories boys.