COVINGTON — Small school wrestling in the local area is special considering the number of outstanding programs fielding quality teams with extremely talented wrestlers who have state potential – Covington, Miami East, Milton-Union, Troy Christian, Versailles, etc.
Two of those teams went head-to-head on Tuesday at Covington High School — Covington and Versailles.
And what was on display by both teams would thrill wrestling enthusiasts – outstanding technique, aggression, toughness, and competitive desire.
Despite the Buccaneers giving up 18 points by being forced to forfeit three matches due to injuries, those in attendance witnessed two teams putting on a great show in the eleven matches wrestled.
In the end Covington won five matches and Versailles won six to hand the Buccaneers a 51-28 defeat.
The dual started at 132 pounds with Versailles going up 6-0 as Levi Barga pinned Covington’s backup wrestler at the weight, Kaden Thompson in 1:00.
The Tigers pushed their lead to 42-0 as Payton Platfoot pinned Covington’s Jackson Shiverdecker in 3:51 at 138 pounds, Quinton Grilliot pinned Aveyen Meek at 144 pounds, Mike Osborn won via forfeit at 150 pounds, Kane Epperly pinned Connor Sindelir at 157 pounds, Carson Bey pinned Allen Garman at 165 pounds, and Caleb Kaiser won via forfeit at 175 pounds.
Covington got on the board at 190 pounds as senior Jensen Wagoner recorded a 15-3 major decision victory over Ethan Barker, but the Tigers responded with a 15-8 win at 215 pounds by Brayden Keihl over Hayden Barker in what was the most exciting match of the night.
Taran Tyo pushed the Tiger lead to 51-4 with a forfeit at heavyweight before the dual rotated to the lower weights where Covington held a significant advantage.
Carson Taylor got the Buccaneers rolling with a 2:39 pin of Trey Hiuber at 106 pounds and Jericho Quinter followed with a 1:02 pin of Lane Bergman at 113 pounds.
Returning state placer Michael Hagan recorded a 41 second pin of Cody Bergman at 120 pounds and Chase Vanderhorst closed out the dual for Covington with a 1:40 pin of Mike Reed at 126 pounds.
The 51-28 final score is no indication as to how competitive the dual was between these two well respected programs.
Covington hopes to see the four starters who were missing tonight return from injuries in time for sectionals – Brian Morrison (132), Caleb Miller (150), Izaiah Sherman (175), and Scott Blumenstock (285).
Until then, the Buccaneers look forward to a dual against Piqua on Saturday where the program will celebrate fifty years of Covington wrestling.