Andrew DeHart

Friday, February 01, 2008 – Versailles
The Covington high school and jr. high wrestling teams traveled to Versailles Friday night for duals with the host Tigers. In the end, both squads came up short of victory, but each got a lot of good wrestling in. The Buccaneers jr. high squad took to the mat first, falling to Versailles, 56-14. The young Buccs won three of their eleven bouts, while forfeiting five other weight classes. In the second dual of the evening, the high school match started off very competitive, as there were six lead changes in the team score during the first nine bouts before Versailles pulled away, 46-23. The Buccs won five of their eleven matches, forfeited three, and dropped their dual meet record to 13-2.

In jr. high action, Covington’s Jacob Sowers, 98 lbs, picked up a 7-3 victory over his opponent in the first match wrestled. At 110 lbs, Kyler Deeter picked up seven takedowns on his way to a 19-4 technical fall victory for the Buccs. Later, at 128 lbs, Covington’s Brian Olson built up a 15-3 lead before pinning his opponent in the second period. Also contributing for the Buccs in a lot of hard-fought bouts were Brock Smith (80), Justin Millhouse (86), Tres Wirt (104), Jordan McIntosh (110), Alex Bitner (116), Ben Sherman (142), Cody Minnich (160) and Jamie Hess (205).

The high school dual started off with a bang at 119 lbs as Covington’s district qualifier, Sam Herron squared off against Versailles‚ Curtis Dirkson – a district alternate. Dirkson scored the first takedown, but Herron tied the score at 2-2 in the third period to send the match to overtime. Neither wrestler scored in the one-minute overtime period, so the match continued to two 30-second periods with each wrestler on bottom. Herron chose down first and scored a reversal to go up 4-2, then held his opponent to an escape in the next period to win 4-3 and give Covington a 3-0 lead.

Versailles then won the 125 lb. bout as Joey Bandt picked up a pin over Tyler Tebbe to give Versailles a 6-3 advantage. Andrew DeHart (130 lbs) would give the lead right back to Covington, earning an 18-3 technical fall over Drew Trump, to make the team score 8-6. The Buccs then picked up another victory as Cory Ely took a forfeit at 135 lbs., to extend their lead to 14-6. The next two bouts would go to Versailles as district qualifier Andy Bruns defeated Josh McMillion, 8-3, and state qualifier Derek Oliver pinned Aaron Devenport. This made the score 18-15, Versailles.

At 152 lbs, Covington’s district qualifier Justin McMillion defeated sectional placer Aaron Coons by an 11-3 major decision to return the lead to the Buccs, 18-15. Versailles would then win a nail biter at 160 lbs as Tyler Bey earned a 3-2 decision over Jake Jennings to knot the team score at 18-18. Versailles would then go on a run, first picking up a pin at 171 lbs – Matt Knapke over Josh Shefbuch – then adding three forfeits at 189, 215 and 285 lbs. to build a 42-18 lead.

The teams would split the final two bouts as Versailles‚ Seth Davis earned a back-and-forth 20-10 decision over Zach Shilt, before Covington’s Matt Breisch racked up ten takedowns in a 26-11 technical fall over Matt DeMange. In reserve action, Covington’s Lon Bitner (112 lbs) earned a 5-2 victory over Versailles‚ Tyler Barga.

The Covington high school reserve team competes Saturday, Feb. 2, at the Triad Invitational, while the varsity team along with the jr. high will compete next at the Covington Duals held on Saturday, Feb. 9, at the high school. Wrestling starts at noon.

Matt Breisch