"Serious Fun". Describing how Torrington star Kobe Covington gets it done.
TORRINGTON - Kobe Covington is having himself some kind of high school career on multiple sporting fronts.
He’s the big (320-pound) lineman who helped the Torrington football team gain their first postseason berth since 1987.
He’s the strongman who earned All-State status this past winter after throwing the shot put all the way to the New England Championships at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
This spring, he’s the hard hitting third basemen/first basemen for the Raiders baseball team, the one that sports a 5-2 mark entering play today against Ansonia.
Best of all, he’s a young man who will greet you with a smile, unless you are trying to either take his picture or beat him in any of the above mentioned sports.
Covington will be attending Western Connecticut State University this fall and oh, by the way, he holds a 90 average in the classroom. The kid just loves to compete, no matter what is put in front of him.
Awards have been flowing over the past two years as well with All-State Football and All-State Indoor Track topping the accomplishment board this school year. Covington was also named to the inaugural Litchfield County Sports, All-Torrington High School Team in 2015 for his Indoor Track prowess.
We suspect we may see him again at the June 9th event for one of his three sports.
His baseball coach, Pat Richardson, has known Covington since he was eight years old and attending baseball camps. He could see from an early age that this player was going to be special.
“Kobe has that perfect balance of hard work and having fun,” Richardson said. “He loves to play baseball. He runs hard, he’s deceptively fast and he just enjoys himself out here. He’s a fierce competitor between the lines but he always has a smile on his face. He’s the perfect combination of what you want in a baseball player.”
You might think that being that big might hinder a player from handling the “Hot Corner” but not in the case of Covington.
“He has earned that third base position two years in a row,” Richardson said. “He’s quick on his feet, he’s got a nice arm across the diamond. Some people say he’s got to be my DH, but I can also use him at first if I need to. He’s a well-rounded player and athlete.”
Covington lives for football during the summer and fall, but likes the break that he gets when it comes time to hit the diamond.
“I just love playing baseball,” Covington said.
During his junior year, Covington hit several prestigious home runs, one was a walk-off grand slam against Berkshire League foe Thomaston in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Another long ball, early in the season was called a ground rule double even though based on the soggy conditions at Fuessenich Park that early spring day, a child’s super ball would not have bounced off the water logged warning track and over the fence.
It just meant Covington had to reach back and send his long balls deep into the Naugatuck River just to be safe.
Covington absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage the past two seasons for head Coach Gaitan Rodriguez as the Raiders made the ultimate jump from his junior to senior year when they went from a 5-6 mark in 2014 to a 9-1 regular season this past fall.
Opponents stayed away from the lanes Covington was coming from on the defensive side of the ball.The word pancake best described what would happen when he finished a block that ultimately opened a massive hole for one of the Raiders running backs to break off long gains.
Covington was a key member of a program that turned itself around through hard work, dedication, and determination.
Rodriguez wanted his players to be “Warrior Gentleman” and nobody epitomized that better than Covington, who could turn the switch when he left the field of battle from intense competitor to a smiling winner.
Torrington Athletic Director Michael McKenna has watched Covington grow since he arrived at the high school.
“He’s just a great kid,” McKenna said. “He’s just a positive kid. Think about what he has done. He wins All-State in football. Then he goes and wins the Shot Put in Indoor Track and he doesn’t even do track in the spring. He was a state champion in his spare time. That’s just amazing, that doesn’t happen in this day and age of kids specializing to be State Champions.”
Covington understands how important being part of a team is and what it means in the big picture.
“He’s always willing to do what needs to be done for the good of the team,” McKenna said. “I just can’t say enough good things about him.”
Kobe is one of two pretty special athletes who have made their way through THS. His older sister Kendra was a three-sport star (soccer, basketball and track) who won the All-LCS nod last year for all three.
The competitive fire glows hot in the Covington family.
Just don’t ask who the better athlete is. That could land you in a world of trouble. That’s best left to a family discussion on Thanksgiving.
Richardson best summed up how Covington has approached the sports he has so dominated during his days at THS.
“Serious fun,” Richardson said.
A great way for anyone to look at competing in sports.