Andrew DeHart became the first Buccaneer freshman wrestler to place at state as he took sixth place at 130 pounds.

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Andrew DeHart already made Covington wrestling history before he even stepped on the mat at the 2008 State Wrestling Championships in Columbus.

He became the first ever freshman from Covington to qualify for the state meet with a third place finish at Districts a week ago. His 43-4 record entering the tournament was the best of any freshman in school history and ranked up there among the best of any wrestler in any grade.

So when DeHart stepped on the mat Thursday evening, everything from that point on was icing on the cake as he was making history with every second he spent on the mat.

DeHart cruised through his first match for a 10-2 win over Danny Collier of Bedford St. Peter Chanel, but dropped to the consolation bracket with a 12-11 loss in his second round match.

The Buccaneer freshman managed to regroup in his next match by pinning Mike Eavers of Greenview in a rematch of their head-to-head match-up at the District Meet. The victory ensured DeHart no worse than eighth place to make him the first ever freshman from Covington to place at state.

The icing on DeHart’s cake got thicker in his next match as he defeated Dustin Carnahan of Paudling 6-4 in the Consolation Quarterfinal.

He then dropped his next match to put him in a battle with Cody Coomes of Marion Pleasant for fifth and sixth. Coomes, who defeated DeHart 12-11 earlier in the tournament, duplicated the feat with an 8-7 decision win.

Despite placing sixth, DeHart wasn’t satisfied with his performance.

“I didn’t wrestle very well today,” he said. “I was sore, but that’s not an excuse. For some reason I didn’t wrestle my best today.”

Coach Barbee felt DeHart’s age was a factor.

“Eight or nine of the guys in his weight class were seniors, so there was a strength advantage there,” he said. “He got manhandled a little bit when he came up against some of those older guys.”

Still, Barbee was proud of how DeHart handled the adversity he faced throughout the tournament and how high he finished on the podium.

“For him to come over here and place as a freshman as a great accomplishment,” he said. “He came back from a loss and wrestled well. That’s very hard to do at this level. He’s got everything to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of. He got some good experience over here. He also found out some things that he needs to work on for next year. This was a great experience for him.”

Andrew DeHart locks up back points at the state meet.


Thursday, February 28, 2008
Andrew DeHart became the first Covington freshman to wrestle in the state tournament Thursday afternoon and now he looks to become the youngest state placer in school history.

DeHart, now 44-4 on the season, advanced in his 130 pound opening round match with a dominating 10-2 victory over Danny Collier of Bedford St. Peter Chanel, despite competing on the largest stage of his life.

“I was a little nervous,” DeHart said. “But, I try not to pay attention to the crowd. I think it helps though, having that first match at state out of the way.”

DeHart wrestled like a seasoned veteran, recording a takedown early and piling up the points at every opportunity his opponent gave him.

The only points DeHart surrendered were on a reversal, but the freshman quickly turned the tables to seal the win.

“Andrew has a lot of experience on the mat,” Covington coach Tom Barbee said. “He has the experience to deal with a lot of different things and can score a lot of different ways. That helps over here. This is exactly what we were looking for. A win in the first round.”

He now faces Marion Pleasant’s Cody Coomes (35-8), a returning state placer in the Championship Quarterfinals on Friday. Coomes won a close 4-2 decision over Jordan Karnes (39-9) of Edgerton (also a returning state placer) in his opening round match.

“He needed a late reversal to win,” DeHart said. “Watching him gives me some idea of what to expect. I feel like I have good chance (in the quarterfinals).”

Coach Tom Barbee agreed.

“He (Cody Coomes) had a tough match today,” Barbee said. “It (watching him) gives us an idea of what he will try to do and gives us a chance to formulate a strategy.”

A victory by DeHart will ensure a place on the podium, making him the youngest state placer in school history.

Wrestling begins at 10:00 am at the Schottenstein Center.

Friday, February 29, 2008
Covington freshman Andrew DeHart’s quest to lock up a place on the podium with a victory over Marion Pleasant’s Cody Coomes in the Championship Quarterfinal never materialized.

DeHart dropped a close 12-11 decision to the returning state placer, dropping him into the consolation bracket.

The match was close throughout as DeHart recorded an early takedown to take a 2-0 lead. He rode his opponent looking to turn him for back points, but surrendered a reversal in the waning seconds of the first period that tied the score at 2-2.

Both wrestlers took turns racking up points as the match went into the third period with Coomes holding a 9-8 lead.

DeHart worked his way from the bottom to reverse his opponent and took a 10-9 lead as the momentum of the match seemed to favor the Covington freshman.

But Coomes quickly escaped to tie the match and the two wrestlers maneuvered on their feet to set up a takedown move. DeHart shot in for a double-leg and a wild scramble ensued for control. In the process, DeHart came down hard on his right leg and as Coomes managed to come out with control and the 12-10 lead with under 30 second left in the match.

After a minute injury delay, DeHart battled relentlessly from the bottom and managed to cut the margin to 12-11 with an escape as 13 seconds remained on the clock. He then went to work to set up a shot and got deep on his opponent with 6 seconds left.

But he couldn’t finish the move in time as the clock ran out with DeHart on the short end of a 12-11 score.

DeHart wrestles Greenview’s Mike Eavers in the second round of Consulations at 12:30 pm. It will be the second meeting between the two as DeHart captured a 4-0 decision over Eavers to take third at District last week.

Covington coaches Tom Barbee and Eric Vanderhorst give instruction to freshman Andrew DeHart during the state tournament.

Friday, February 29, 2008
Andrew Dehart became Covington’s youngest state placer in school history as the freshman pinned Greenview’s Mike Eavers 30 seconds into the second period in the Consolation Round 2.

It was a rematch between the two as DeHart defeated Eavers 4-0 at Districts.

The Covington freshman, still fuming from his loss to Danny Collier, took control of the match from the outset with a takedown just 38 second into the match.

Eavers managed to record a reversal late in the second period, but DeHart immediately escaped to take a 3-2 lead after one period.

DeHart won the flip to begin the second period and chose the down position, where he only needed 15 seconds to get a reversal. In the process he caught his opponent on his back and pinned him shortly thereafter.

With the victory Andrew assures himself a spot on the podium as he can finish now worse than eighth place.

DeHart will face Paudling’s Dustin Carnahan (53-5) in the Consolation Quarterfinals between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Carnahan placed sixth at state last season in the 125 pound weight class.

Friday, February 29, 2008
With a place on the podium locked up, Andrew DeHart keeps climbing the stairs of that podium with each match.

The Covington freshman captured a thrilling 6-4 overtime victory over returning state placer Dustin Carnahan of Paudling in the Consolation Quarterfinals.

DeHart now advances to the Consolation Semi-Finals against Vince Gualtieri of West Jefferson. Should DeHart win he will wrestle for third and fourth later in the afternoon for a possible rematch with Cody Coomes.

“I told coach (Tom Barbee) I didn’t want to place seventh or eighth,” said DeHart after the match. “I’d like at least third or fourth because all of the other (Covington) state placers at least got fourth. I’d like to add my name up there (on the board) with those guys.”

DeHart and Carnahan battled back and forth throughout the three periods, but came away with a 4-4 deadlock to set up overtime.

On the whistle DeHart surged forward and grabbed the leg of his opponent – turning him for the winning takedown.

“I was a little gassed after regulation,” DeHart expalined. “But I knew that I would win if I was aggressive. I saw the opportunity and I took it.”

Coach Barbee was pleased with the effort.

“I’m super happy with his effort,” Barbee said. “He did a good job of mentally preparing himself after a tough loss. He’s prepared himself physically all year, but from here on out it’s all mental.”

The fact that DeHart didn’t lose his focus after a tough loss impressed Barbee as numerous wrestlers in the past couldn’t overcome that hurdle.

“That (overcoming a loss) is a tough thing to do,” Barbee explained. “We’ve had a lot of guys over here who couldn’t get over it. For him being a freshman and to stay mentally focused like that is very impressive.”

For DeHart, it was a matter of focus and a little anger.

“I knew I had to get my head back into it,” he said. “Normally when I lose I get mad and wrestle twice as hard the next time. I wanted to win so bad.”

After a night’s rest, DeHart will look to take another step up the ladder.

Wrestling starts at 10:00 am.

Saturday, March 1, 2008
The ups and downs at the state tournament continued for Covington freshman Andrew DeHart on Saturday in the Consolation Semi-Finals as he dropped a 9-3 decision to Vince Gualtieri of West Jefferson.

After a scoreless first period in which DeHart came up short of capturing a takedown, Andrew chose the down position to start the second period.

He immediately escaped to take his only lead of the match 1-0.

The West Jefferson senior then recorded a five-point move with a takedown and a near-side cradle to take a 5-1 lead.

DeHart managed two more escape points, but a Gualtieri reversal and another takedown sealed the match in the third period.

Andrew with wrestle for fifth place later this afternoon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008
Covington freshman Andrew DeHart completed the 2008 state wrestling tournament with a sixth place finish after another heartbreaking loss 8-7 to Marion Pleasant’s Cody Coomes.

The two wrestled earlier in the Consolation Quarterfinal with Coones eaking out a 12-11 victory.

The rematch started the same way with DeHart recording a takedown and a 2-0 lead. In the process DeHart fell on Coones knee, injuring his hip.

After a minute break to address the hip injury, DeHart rode Coones over the remainder of the first frame to maintain the 2-0 lead.

Andrew extended the lead to 3-0 with an escape to start the second period, but Coones responded with a takedown and two back points to go up 4-3.

Coones would extend the lead to 8-5 in the third period before DeHart scored on a takedown to make the score 8-7. But the Covington freshman could capitalize for more points as the clock expired.

DeHart finishes his freshman season at 46-7 and becomes the first Covington freshman to qualify for state and the youngest state placer in school history.

First Place Final
Zac Hancock, Troy Christian dec. Daniel Kolodzik, Day. Miami Valley School 5-2

Third Place Finals
Vince Gualtieri, W. Jefferson dec. Blake Thoreson, Burton Berkshire 8-4

Fifth Place Finals
Cody Coomes, Marion Pleasant dec. Andrew DeHart, Covington 8-7

Seventh Place Finals
Dustin Carnahan, Paulding over Tyler Powers, Cuy. Val. Chr. Acad. default

Andrew DeHart has his hand raised after a win that secured him a spot on the podium at state.