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Mayer begins pre-season workouts with CovCath football team ranked among nation’s top players

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

After the Covington Catholic football team finished the first day of pre-season workouts on Wednesday, senior Michael Mayer was headed for the locker room to submerge his sore muscles in an ice bath.

The team spent most of the morning lifting weights and doing agility drills. Mayer, who’s ranked among the top players in the nation, got in line and took his turn, just like everybody else.

Michael Mayer received the most valuable player award at The Opening Finals. (Photo from notredame.rivals.com)

“The past two seasons I came in with the same outlook – play your hardest and do what you can do to help the team,” he said. “Nothing really changes for my senior year.”

Earlier this week, Mayer was ranked No. 8 on the USA Today “Chosen 25” list of high school football seniors. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Notre Dame recruit is the No. 1 tight end on the list. He also plays middle linebacker for CovCath.

Mayer’s performance at The Opening Finals elite training camp in Texas had a lot to do with his high ranking by USA Today. He was named most valuable player in the 7-on-7 passing competition.

An analyst who watched the competition wrote: “There was a really strong group of receivers working out, but it was tight end Michael Mayer who had the day’s most dominant performance. The Notre Dame commit had multiple acrobatic jump ball catches, got easy separation on throws down the field and didn’t drop a ball that we saw all day.”

Mayer established himself as one of the best two-way starters in Kentucky last season when CovCath made it to the Class 5A state final. He was the team’s leading pass receiver with 46 catches for 1,029 yards and 12 touchdowns while also making a team-high 98 tackles.

Mayer has more than 1,000 yards in pass receptions for CovCath last season. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

He needs 739 receiving yards this season to reach 2,000 for his career, and there’s a good chance he’ll get that with CovCath quarterback Caleb Jacob returning. But that wasn’t even on Mayer’s mind going into Wednesday’s workouts.

“I’m more about winning than anything, I don’t care about all that other stuff,” Mayer said of his receiving stats. “Whatever happens, happens. If I do set records or something, I’m sure I’ll be pumped about it.”

CovCath lost eight starters on offense and seven on defense to graduation. Head coach Eddie Eviston said he’s got a good group of seniors on this year’s roster to help fill those gaps.

“We’ve got some guys who were back-ups last year that I’m really excited about,” Eviston said. “But, obviously, it’s only July. What I’m seeing from them right now is good, but you don’t really know until we get the pads on them (for actual practice).”

With Mayer as a two-way starter, Eviston and his coaching staff certainly have a talented veteran to build the team’s new offensive and defensive units around.

“We’re totally counting on him, I think he knows that,” Eviston said. “All the good players, that’s what they want, and he’s a great one. I really do think he’ll be able to handle his individual success and rally the guys around him to raise their level of play.”

Mayer is keenly aware that the CovCath team will be counting on his leadership and athletic ability for the upcoming season, and he appears to be taking it in stride.  

“I don’t think I have any pressure on my shoulders,” he said. “I just have to come out and do what I’ve done the past two years.”

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