Covington boys to team up at Spring Hill College

Thursday, June 3, 2004
The Covington brothers, Griggs at left, and Cash, will be playing basketball together again at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., this fall. Both were All-State, All-Regional and All-Conference during their careers at Eureka Springs, with Cash also selected this year to play in the AHSCA All-Star Basketball game in June. The duo had a great inside/outside punch the one year they played together on the same Highlander squad, when Cash was a sophomore and Griggs a senior. They hope to revive that at the private Catholic liberal arts college in Alabama. CCN/David McNeal

The Covington brothers from Eureka Springs will be playing on the same basketball team again next fall, but this time it will be at the collegiate level.

Griggs has just finished his second year at Grayson Junior College in Sherman, Texas, while Cash just graduated from ESHS. Both were standout athletes and good students for the Highlanders, and were a force when they played together one year.

Griggs was a 6-5 senior, while Cash was a 6-6 sophomore, then it was off to college for Griggs. Now the two will team up again at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., a private Catholic school on the famous Emerald Coast along the Gulf of Mexico. Both will be on full athletic/academic scholarships.

Back in the spring, Griggs was finishing his two-year stint at Grayson and was looking for a place to play this next year. Meanwhile back home, Cash had been in contact with Arkansas Tech basketball coach Rick McCormick, who had offered an academic/athletic-type of scholarship to Cash.

A former Arkansas Tech coach, Robert Thompson, was at Spring Hill College and found out the duo were both hunting a school.

"I was looking around, playing the field," Griggs said. "Tech called, Coach McCormick, and knew I didn't have a spot. He was recruiting me. Coach Thompson had called Cash, and he wanted both of us. He had recruited us in high school."

Cash had offers to walk-on at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, or the chance to play at Tech on an academic scholarship.

"He called and talked to us the beginning of March, and we drove to Mobile and visited Spring Hill College in April," Cash said. "It was beautiful. Old oak trees that hang to the ground, and brand new facilities ---- a new gym, new library, and the coed dorms are new.

"They're restoring an old Catholic church on campus, and have an 18-hole golf course on campus," Cash said with a big grin.

Griggs chimed in, saying, "It's a good academic school, the best in Alabama, like a Hendrix College (in Conway, Ark.). It's liberal arts, so I'll have to change my major. I've got an associate's degree in physical education from Grayson, and might get into business."

The academics won't be a problem for either, as Griggs finished at Grayson with a 3.1 gpa, and Cash graduated at Eureka Springs with a 3.9 gpa.

They won't have any trouble with the athletic part either, as both were All-Conference, All-Regional and All-State at ESHS, with Cash selected to play in the Arkansas High School Coaches Association (AHSCA) All-Star Basketball game on Thursday, June 17, in Bud Walton Arena.

Griggs was named to the Region 5 All-Star team as a freshman at Grayson, and both were nominated for the McDonald's All-Star game their senior years in high school.

Last year, Griggs and the Grayson team made it to the regional finals in their junior college division, and were rated the No. 1 defensive team in the nation in junior colleges.

Both said that Spring Hill College has a pretty good athletic program. There is no football, but they have 15 sports and a good tradition.

"In basketball, Loyola in New Orleans is a big rival, and South Alabama University in Mobile, a D-1 school, is another big rival," Cash said. "They said I would play from a two to a five position. We have a 6-10 player from Germany who goes about 260, and some other players about our size."

"It's a good part of the country," Griggs pointed out about the Gulf Coast area. "We'll be one hour from Pensacola, Fla., 30 minutes from Gulf Shores, and Biloxi is about 40 minutes away."

So will the two brothers room together next year"

"Cash will have to live in the freshman dorm," Griggs said. "The dorms are like apartments. They're all coed. We'll go down in June for orientation, then move down in August to start classes."

The boys parents are Ken and Laura Covington, and it's about 14 hours from Eureka Springs to Mobile. The boys were asked how mom and dad were handling that.

"They're real happy," Griggs said. "Mom's excited, Dad too. We all think it's gonna be a great place to go."

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