2004-05: Buccs Open Season at Northeastern

Brian Ely

Solid Team Effort Leads Buccs to 4-0 Start

The beauty of the sport of wrestling could be seen in the eyes of Covington junior Ienobu Kaneko. Ienobu, or “Nobu” for short, is a Japenese exchange student who got his first taste of wrestling in the opening rounds of the 10-team Northeastern Invitational. The 125 lb. wrestler, whose previous athletic experience is horseback-riding and archery, received two forfeits before dropping his final two bouts via pin. Despite the losses, Nobu came off the mat with a gleam in his eyes and a smile on his face. The rush derived from the physical one-on-one competition that wrestling provides appeared to give Nobu an instant appreciation for the sport.

The rest of the Covington squad had their adrenaline up as well, as they won their first four duals of the tournament by defeating Finneytown, 51-22, West Liberty Salem, 40-30, Triad, 54-12, and Mechanicsburg, 42-27. The Buccs’ strong junior class led the way as four of them, Jordan Tebbe (112 lbs.), Ryan Vanderhorst (152 lbs.), Logan Brown (189 lbs.) and Brian Ely (215 lbs.), went undefeated on the night with 4-0 records. Juniors Bobby Wiltshire (140 lbs.) and C.J. Potter (215 lbs.) finished 3-1. Overall, the juniors combined for a 24-4 record on the night, with 11 pins. Additionally, junior Ritchie Watkins (140 lbs.) finished 3-0 while wrestling unattached for another team.

The underclassmen followed suit as freshman Logan Hall (145 lbs.) went 4-0 and sophomore Ryan White (135 lbs.) finished 3-1. Sophomore Kyle Chalmers (160 lbs.) and freshman Jake Wise (171 lbs.) wrestled well, but dropped some tough matches, finishing 1-3 and 0-4, respectively. Freshman Justin McMillion (145 lbs.) picked up some matches wrestling unattached, going 1-2 on the evening.

As the competition winded down, you could see a number of the Buccaneer wrestlers giving some pointers to Nobu to better prepare him for his next opponents. Wrestling begins Saturday at noon, where Covington will first face Northeastern, followed by Urbana, Kenton Ridge, Northwestern and Springfield North.

Buccs Finish Fourth Overall

The Covington Buccs wrestled their way to a fourth place finish at the ten-team Northeastern Invitational, finishing with an overall team record of 6-3. The Buccs lost a tight dual to Northeastern, 36-47, and lost to Urbana, 24-46, before rebounding to defeat Kenton Ridge, 48-33. Covington then earned a solid victory over Northwestern, 45-33, before dropping their final dual to tournament champion Springfield North, 28-51. Buccaneer forfeits at 103, 119 and 130 held the team back as each of their three losses were to squads yielding full teams.

Logan Brown and Brian Ely led Covington with undefeated performances and 9-0 records as they split time between the 189 lb. and 215 lb. weight classes. Brown was chosen as the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament as he earned convincing victories over a number of solid wrestlers, including North’s Lawrence Kemp, 18-6, and Urbana’s Nick Hess, 11-3. Ely had an outstanding tournament as well earning a team high 7 pins. In all, eight of the eleven starting wrestlers placed in the top-four of the tournament.

Ryan Vanderhorst (152 lbs.) finished with an 8-1 record to take 2nd, losing only to North’s Zeke Purnell, a returning D1 state-qualifier. C.J Potter – who just barely qualified to wrestle heavyweight by weighing in at the minimum weight of 210 lbs. – used his strength and quickness to take third place with a 7-2 record. Jordan Tebbe also finished with a 7-2 record and earned third place in the 112 lb. class.

Finishing in fourth place with 6-3 records were Ryan White (135 lbs.), Bobby Wiltshire (140 lbs.) and Logan Hall (145 lbs.). Ienobu Kaneko (125 lbs.), Kyle Chalmers (160 lbs.) and Jake Wise (171 lbs.) dropped some tough matches, but wrestled with great intensity throughout the tournament. Additionally, both Justin McMillion (140 lbs.) and Ritchie Watkins (145 lbs.) finished the tournament with winning records while wrestling unattached for other teams.

Covington will be traveling up north next Saturday, Dec. 11, to compete in the Lincolnview Invitational.

Ryan Vanderhorst