Home Local Sports Covington, Till represent Raiders at East-West All-Star Game

Covington, Till represent Raiders at East-West All-Star Game

Richmond's Jaiden Covington (yellow helmet) blocks Ellijah Ellis of West Forsyth (25) during the East-West All-Star Game. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

GREENSBORO — Jaiden Covington got a final sendoff of his high school football career Wednesday, representing the Richmond Raider diamond one last time.

The three-year varsity starter competed in the North Carolina Coaches Association’s annual East-West All-Star Game at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High School.

Lining up at left tackle, Covington and the East team lost 33-14. The game was delayed following a line of thunderstorms before kickoff.

Also joining Covington on the sideline was Richmond head coach Bryan Till, who served as the East squad’s defensive coordinator. He was named as one of the team’s five assistant coaches last July, the first time in his 21-year coaching career.

The NCCA East-West All-Star Game saw its inaugural game played in 1949, and has been played every summer since, except for 2020. The game serves as a way to showcase the state’s top talent amongst the recent graduating class.

Covington became the most recent former Raider to join an illustrious list of nearly 100 players in Richmond’s 50-year history to play in the summer classic. 

Last summer, wide receiver Tremel Jones, defensive lineman Kaleel Brown and assistant coach Greg Williams represented Richmond at the game.

Bryan Till, the East’s defensive coordinator, calls out a play during Wednesday’s game. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Covington and Till’s week started on Friday, reporting to Greensboro and participating in several events. 

Some of the activities they participated in were attending a Greensboro Grasshoppers game, the East-West All-Star basketball game, a church service and several days of practice.

When asked what his favorite part of the experience was, Covington said the down time between events and hanging out “with a really cool group” of players was what he enjoyed most.

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Playing in all of the team’s offensive series, Covington and the East team fell behind 20-0 through the 3:04 mark of the second quarter. 

A 22-yard touchdown pass from Hayes Pippen (Washington) to Jewalace Holmes (Southern Durham) with 1:43 left in the first half got the East on the board. Holmes hauled in a one-handed grab near the front right pylon.

Trailing 26-7 early in the third, Holmes would be responsible for the East’s second and final score of the game. 

With 8:55 on the clock, Holmes caught a back-shoulder pass from Sam Jones (Hoggard) from 29 yards out. South View’s Jay Haggins notched the PAT. 

Bryan Till (left) watches as Jaiden Covington (62) and the East team warm up ahead of Wednesday’s game. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Part of the Richmond program that has won four straight Sandhills Athletic Conference championships, Covington was named to his first All-SAC team following his senior season. 

The Raiders went 10-2 last fall, swept all of their SAC opponents and made it to the second round of the NCHSAA 4A East playoffs.

Covington is set to continue his playing career at Lenoir-Rhyne University this fall, having signed with the Bears in early February.

Till and the Raiders will continue pre-season workouts this month before opening the official day of practice for the 2022 season on Aug. 2.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Jaiden Covington describes his weeklong experience playing in the East-West All-Star Game, and Bryan Till discusses Covington as a Raider and serving as the East’s defensive coordinator.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.