Freedom honors Jimbo Covert with field naming


Luke Snavely/FHS Press

On August 27, Jimbo Covert stands with athletic director John Rosa as he is presented a plaque commemorating the field naming.

On Aug. 27, the boys football team hosted the first game of their football season. Jimbo Covert attended that football game, but not just to see the game. The school honored him by renaming the turf field after Covert, as he has supported the Freedom football program for many years. 

All this led to the school giving Covert a plaque commemorating the naming of the field. He then ended the ceremony with a short speech about his gratitude towards the football program, and the school as well. The team welcomed South Side to the newly-named stadium for their first regular season game. 

Some people may not be entirely sure of the many reasons why Covert has received this high honor. Covert accomplished many things in his life and career that most cannot say they have. 

Born on March 22, 1960, Covert lived an average life in Freedom Area School District. He was born in and grew up in Conway. He played football and wrestling in high school, and he excelled in both sports. In the 1977 season of Bulldogs football, Covert and the rest of the team finished their regular season 11-0, going undefeated. 

As for Covert’s college days, he started his college football career at The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) in 1978. Covert was a starter in all games in his freshman year. He played on the defensive line, and was an effective player on the defensive side of the ball. In the 1979 season, he was injured and did not play in that season due to being red-shirted. Being red-shirted in college football means that the player is injured and cannot play the rest of the season, and the year does not count for his years of eligibility. This meant that Covert spent another year at Pitt to achieve the four years that were required to be eligible for the National Football League (NFL) draft.

After returning from his injury, Covert was moved to play on the offensive line. He started there for his final three seasons at Pitt. In the three years that Pitt had Covert starting on the offensive line, the team’s record was 31-5. Covert played with a fewNFL stars in college, such as Dan Marino and Mark May. Covert was also inducted into many other Halls of Fame, including the College Football Hall of Fame, The University of Pittsburgh All-Time Football Team and this year’s 2020 Pro Football Hall of Fame selection in Canton, Ohio. 

The football team stood on the turf field during the naming ceremony before their first game began.

“It was an awesome experience to be a part of such an exciting time in Freedom history. Jimbo has impacted the community in so many great ways, and is beyond deserving of this honor,” senior and Freedom kicker Jay Hessler said.