Mayor proves true fan

UMHB athletic events are not only supported by the student body and players’ families, but by the community of Belton. One person in particular
has been a fan for about 20 years.

Belton Mayor Jim Covington began attending most Cru baseball games back in the NAIA days “when they went to the World Championship and finished second,” he said. “I just love baseball.”

His continuous passion for America’s favorite past time began when Covington was around 5 years old.

“My earliest memories are listening to the St. Louis Cardinals sitting on my Granddad’s lap,” he said, choking up. “We lived in Oklahoma, and that was the closest station he could get on his little radio with all the static.”

Present at almost every Crusader baseball game, Mayor of Belton Jim Covington sits in his usual seat and cheers on the Cru. Photo by Andra Holbrooks

Present at almost every Crusader baseball game, Mayor of Belton Jim Covington sits in his usual seat and cheers on the Cru. Photo by Andra Holbrooks

In high school he played baseball but couldn’t continue his career when he went to college. At the time, North Texas State didn’t have a program, so he began playing fast pitch softball.

About three years ago, Mayor Covington retired from the banking business, allowing his schedule to become more flexible. He is now able to attend the majority of all Crusader athletic events.

“I’ve been at (baseball) games, particularly early in the season, and one of the parents came up to me and asked ‘Well, which kid is yours?’ I said, ‘They’re all mine,’ ” Covington said.

As he continues to look after the team, he maintains growing relationships with the coaches and players.

“They’re a good group of guys. Micah (Wells) does a really good job,” he said.

Junior sport management major Seth Lynn was on deck one game and began talking to Covington.

“It’s obvious he cares about our university,” he said. “Whenever he comes to the games, I make sure to talk to him.”

Lynn had never had an opportunity to meet a mayor.

“He is extremely nice and really funny. It’s cool to be able to carry on a friendship through our mutual love of baseball,” he said.

The support of Belton’s community makes its relationship to the university stronger.

Wells and his players continue to see people from Belton not only in the stands at baseball games, but at other Cru sporting events as well.

“When you have the support of the people in your community, like Mayor Covington, it makes the games really special,” Wells said. “Not just to be a casual fan, but someone to be as involved as he (Covington) is, to know the players and to follow these guys is really cool.”

Four years ago the Cru made their first run to post season in Arkansas. Wells said the trip was “long and tough,” but Covington and his friend were there to cheer the Cru on.

“He’s rooting them along for everything, every pitch and every at bat,” Wells said.

“It’s people like that when you take the field you want to make them proud.”

Author: Andra Holbrooks

Andra is a senior Mass Communication/Journalism major from Aledo, TX. She is the Features Page Editor for The Bells. Andra loves spending time with her family, roommates and friends. Although her time at UMHB will soon come to an end, she will always hold the Crusader family dearly in her heart. Her adventure of becoming Features Editor for The Bells began in 2008. Being a writer was not a profession she ever imagined pursuing, but she is thankful for the opportunity God has given her to do so. She enjoys page designing and writing feature stories. After graduation in May, she hopes to use her degree by working for a magazine or reporting for a news station.

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