1988-89 BUCCANEERS: Front Row (L-R) – Scott Dammeyer, Jason Kisner, Jason Sommer, Eric Vanderhorst, Wade Weaver. Standing (L-R) – Shawn Barnes, Gary Kesler, Randy Sowers, Dan White, Doug Hartman, Shawn Baker.

Coached by Tom Barbee, the 1988-89 wrestling team was very young and inexperienced, but managed to make strides of improvement throughout the year. The Buccs coupled an overall record of 23-58 – 4-17 in duals meets and 19-41 in tournaments. Though the team didn’t have an outstanding record, much valuable experienced was gained.

Senior Randy Sowers became the 13th wrestler in Buccaneer history to qualify for the state meet as he won a sectional championship and finished runner-up at the district tournament. He was also runner-up in the SRC. Sowers was a four-year letter winner for the Buccs and was named the Most Valuable Wrestler.

Additional honors were awarded to senior Gary Kesler as Most Improved and Eric Vanderhorst was presented with the Coach’s Award.


1989 Covington graduate and 1989 State Qualifier, Randy Sowers, not only had a huge impact on the program with his success on the wrestling mat, he had an even bigger impact volunteering his time to coach youth wrestlers in the 1990s and 2000s. Randy coached some of the biggest names in Buccaneer wrestling at the youth level, including 2006 state champion Logan Brown and four-time state placer Andrew DeHart. He also coached his sons Jake and Josh Sowers, both who had outstanding careers for the Buccs. In 2013, Randy became the first former Buccaneer State Qualifier to coach his own son (Jake Sowers) at the State Meet and the second father-son combination in Covington history to be State Qualifiers.

SENIORS: Gary Kesler, Randy Sowers, Doug Hartman
Gary Kesler
Doug Hartman