The 1985-86 Buccaneers stamped their legacies as one of the top teams in school history by winning the program’s first regional championship and qualifying four wrestlers to the state meet.

1985-86 BUCCANEERS: Top Row (L-R): Rodney Kimmel, Mike Hagan, Brian Olson, Karsten Mueller, Art Sowers, Scott Tayler, Chris Colbert. Middle Row (L-R): Randy Sowers, Rob Anspach, Ernie Elliot, Tim Fitzpatrick, Keith Ponchilla, David White, Tony Iddings, L.G. Henry. Bottom Row (L-R): Doug Hartman, Gary Kesler, Lee Yantis, Keith Musgrave, Cory Smith. (Not Pictured: Ray Kimmel and Chris Nutter)
Covington coach Tom Barbee is carried by his wrestlers after the Buccaneers won the program’s first regional title.

The 1985-86 Buccaneers stamped their legacies as one of the top teams in school history by winning the program’s first regional championship and qualifying four wrestlers to the state meet.

The 1985-86 season was one of the most successful seasons in the history of Covington wrestling.

In all, Covington post a 15-5 record in dual meets; finished 2nd in the Covington Invitations, 4th at the Miami East Invitational, 5th in the SRC League Tournament, and 9th at the prestigious Troy Invitational.

To top it off, the Buccaneers had a historic tournament run by claiming a fourth straight district championship and then winning the program’s first every regional championship.

The Buccaneers had a record four wrestlers qualify for the state meet; senior Mike Hagan (155), juniors Scott Tayler (175) and Brian Olson (185), along with sophomore Keith Musgrave (98).


The Kimmel family has a strong tradition in the sport of wrestling as all five brothers have competed for the Black and White; Rusty, Randy, Ryan, Rodney and Ray. Last season, as a junior, Rodney Kimmel joined his brother Randy as the first brothers in school history to become state qualifiers. In 1978, Randy was the first wrestler in school history to qualify for state and he became the first two-time state qualifier in 1979. Rodney qualified for state in 1985 in the 132 pound weight class.


On Thursday, January 11, 2024 the Covington wrestling program honored former Buccaneer wrestler Chris Nutter, who passed away on September 29, 2023 from cancer. Legendary coach Tom Barbee shared some memories of Chris from his wrestling days as a Buccaneer wrestler and presented some artwork of Chris to his two sisters, Becky and Angel, and his three daughters, Skylynn, Lacie Jane, and Krista.



Keith Musgrave - SO


Gary Kesler - FR


Chris Nutter - FR


Ray Kimmel - SO


Lee Yantis - SR


Chris Colbert - SR


Rodney Kimmel - SR


Tony Iddings - SO


Mike Hagan - SR


Art Sowers - SR


Scott Tayler - JR


Brian Olson - JR


Karsten Muller - SR


Tom Barbee


Senior 138 pound returning state qualifier, Rodney Kimmel.

KETTERING – Covington captured its fourth straight Class A District wrestling title on Saturday at Fairmont High School.

The Buccs placed in all but two weight classes and will have 11 wrestlers in the regional tournament to be held at Covington High School on Saturday. Covington’s team total was 192.5 points and second was West Liberty-Salem, a team ranked fifth in the state, with 160.5 points. Third was Batavia with 142 points.

“We were real pleased,” said Covington coach Tom Barbee. “In this case, it was a real team effort. We wouldn’t have placed so high if we didn’t;’t have the effort from the guys who weren’t seeded. We have eleven guys going to regionals and that’s tremendous.”

Covington was ahead in team points after both the first round and the quarterfinals.

Three Buccs were crowned district champions and two placed second. Covington picked up several points with two third place finishes and four fourth place finishes.

Top-seeded Mike Hagan was Covington’s first champion, pinning Darren Clark of Tri-Village in 1:22 in the 155-pound class. It was Hagan’s fourth pin of the tournament and he upped his season record to 25-5.

Scott Tayler, the top seed, also pinned his opponent in the finals of the 175-pound class. Tayler got his fourth pin of the tournament at 3:49 over Matt Keller of Cincinnati Country Day in the finals. Tayler is 30-2 on the season and both of his losses have been to a Class AA wrestler.

Brian Olson, also seeded first, had two byes before pinning his semifinal opponent and then winning the title by a 15-5 decision over Joe Taylor of Batavia in the 185-pound class.

Art Sowers made it to the finals in the 167-pound class, but lost to Mark Price of West Liberty-Salem by a pin in 1:53.

Second-seeded Rodney Kimmel, Covington’s line state qualifier from a year ago, also reached the finals in the 138-pound class. He dropped a close 7-6 decision to top-seeded Bobby Hewitt of Batavia to finish second.

Keith Musgrave placed third in the 98-pound class by pinning Jim Grau of Lockland in 4:12.

Tony Iddings pinned Greg Asman in 1:34 to place third in the 145-pound class after losing to the eventual champion in the semifinals.

Lee Yantis was not seeded, but placed fourth in the 126-pound class, losing to John Willenbrink of Fenwick in the consolation final.

Ray Kimmel was also not seeded, but placed fourth at 119 pounds after dropping a 9-5 decision to Matt Bucher of Batavia in the consolation final.

Chris Nutter and Gary Kessler also were not seeded, but managed to place fourth. Nutter fell to Larry Smith of Batavia in the consolation final at 113 pounds, while Kesler dropped his 105-pound consolation finals match to Norman Northcutt of Batavia.

The one-day regional tournament will be held Saturday at 11am at Covington High School. The finals are scheduled for 7 pm.

Sophomore 119 pounder, Ray Kimmel.
Freshman 112 pounder, Chris Nutter.
The Covington wrestling team celebrates the program's first regional championship.


Junior 175 pound state qualifier, Scott Tayler.

COVINGTON – Covington captured a first Saturday night.

The Covington Buccaneers wrestling team followed up last week’s district-winning performance by winning its first Class A regional title by four-and-a-half points over West Liberty-Salem.

In the process, four Buccs will go on to the state tournament next weekend in Columbus.

“We fought a tough match with West Liberty-Salem right down the line,” Covington coach Tom Barbee said. “We kept going back and fourth until the 155 match that sewed up the championship for us.”

The team’s three district champions will all continue on to state after Saturday’s meet. Mike \Hagan pinned his final round opponent in 47 seconds to win the 155 weight class.

Teammate Scott Tayler won the 175 division in a hard fought match that traveled into overtime. The final score was 4-0. Brian Olson, also a district champion, was pinned in his final round in 1:33 by Andy Rowe of Northridge.

Sophomore 98 pound state qualifier, Keith Musgrave.

Keith Musgrave, who took second at the district meet at 98, repeated the feat as he was defeated in the final round 6-2 by John Bollin of West Liberty-Salem.

Rodney Kimmel, Covington’s lone state qualifier last season, took third place in the regional match at 138, while Ray Kimmel took fourth place at 119.

“All of the kids wrestled hard and I was super-pleased with the team effort,” Barbee said.

Covington, which won its fourth straight district championship last weekend, brought 11 of its 13 wrestlers to regionals.

“Coming into (Saturday), I didn’t think we could do it, but the kid worked hard and pulled it off,” Barbee said. “I really can’t say what next week will be like until I see the competition. We’ll just go into the match like we have all year. The kids worked hard and they’ll get what they worked for next week.”


Senior 155 pound state qualifier, Mike Hagan.

COLUMBUS – Covington coach Tom Barbee watched his four state qualifying wrestler drop their first round matches at St. John Arena in Columbus.

However, he was pleased with their performances.

“They all went out after it,” Barbee said. “They didn’t hold anything back and when that happens you take some chances. I was proud of all of the kids.”

Keith Musgrave was pinned in 5:25 by Jason Guilford of Defiance Ayersville at 98 pounds.

“That kid had beaten him (Musgrave) before,” Barbee said. “He hung in there, but in the third period he got reversed and put on his back.”

Mike Hagan dropped a 13-4 decision to Eric Burger of Sycamore Mohawk at 155.

“The kid was a lot like Mike in that he liked to counter from the bottom,” Barbee said. “He (Burger) wrestled well, but Mike just couldn’t get anything going today.”

For Hagan, he was the the recipient of an unfortunate draw as the wrestler he pinned in 47 seconds of last week’s regional finals match ended up on the top half of the bracket and finished in third place at state.

Junior 185 pound state qualifier, Brian Olson.

Scott Tayler dropped a razor thin 2-1 decision to Ken Ross of New London at 175 pounds. Tayler had Ross in a potential takedown situation in the final seconds of the match, but Ross avoided the match-winning move until after the final buzzer sounded.

“If he (Tayler) would have gotten the takedown, it would have given him the match,” Barbee said. “It was just a matter of seconds.”

Brian Olson stayed close to Randy Stemen of Delphos St. John for two periods before Stamen posted a 18-10 decision at 185 pounds.

“Olson hung in there,” Barbee said. “In the third period he might of got a little tired and started reaching.”