JANUARY 25, 2017 - MECHANICSBURG
The Covington Buccaneers made the trek to Mechanicsburg for the opening round of the OHSAA State Duals on Wednesday with a depleted roster due to untimely injuries suffered over the past week.
The Buccaneers were able to maneuver the lineup around by bumping varsity wrestlers up a weight class and entering a few junior varsity wrestlers to fill other weights and it did result in an impressive 50-24 win over North Union in the first dual of the evening, but it wasn't enough to match up with a very talented Mechanicsburg team in the second dual.
In the opener against North Union, Covington started out strong by winning the first four matches wrestled to take a 23-12 lead as the Buccaneers had to forfeit the 113 and 126 pound weight classes.
Dolan Young recorded a 19-4 technical fall win over Clara Hillyard at 106 before Kyle Barga (120) pinned Austin Jamison, Austin Flick (132) pinned Cobi Wall, and Keringten Martin stuck Skyler Cowgill at 138 pounds.
Parker Designer picked up six points for the Buccs on a North Union forfeit at 145 before Josh Sowers bumped up to 152 to lose a very close 2-1 decision to Sam Le. In the process, Sowers saw his evening end due to reaggrivating a previous injury.
Deron White got the Buccs back to their winning ways with a 3:23 pin of Michael Persinger at 160 and Ross Bowman took the place of injured returning state qualifier Lance Miller at 170 and picked up a pin in 20 seconds over Alec O'Reilly.
North Union ended the Buccs' winning streak with a win at 182, but Gavin McReynolds bumped up to 195 and knocked off Trace Conrad, 6-1.
After dropping a bout at 220, Carl Lankford closed out the dual for Covington in impressive fashion with a 19 second pin of D.J. Douglas.
This set up a dual with Mechanicsburg, a team fielding five returning state placers, including three-time state champion Kaleb Romero - making for a tough out for any team at full strength.
And Covington didn't have the firepower to hang with the Indians as the Buccaneers won just one the nine matches wrestled - a 2:31 pin by Dolan Young over Dakota Lay at 106 pounds.
The Buccaneers were also forced to forfeit five weight classes - 113, 126, 145, 170 and 195.
The end result was a convincing 72-6 defeat to the Indians, who move on to the Regional Dual Tournament next week.
Covington has little time to nurse its injuries as it travels to the Lima Central Catholic Invitational this weekend.