2008-09 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
This should be an exciting season for the Covington wrestling team. The Buccaneers return all but two wrestlers off a team that finished last season with an 18-2 dual meet record – best since 1984 – and that achieved several strong tournament performances including a couple tournament championships. Covington also earned a top-20 finish at the 46-team GMVWA Holiday tournament, despite being perhaps the smallest school in the field.
The team put in an impressive performance at last season’s Sectional tournament as nine of the Buccs’ twelve wrestlers placed in the top six to give the team a third place finish (out of fifteen) – Covington’s best finish in eight seasons. The accomplishment is all the more impressive considering that this Sectional was one of the toughest in the state last season and boasted 24 state qualifiers, 14 state placers and 5 state champions – including the team state champions. The Buccs return five district qualifiers from last year’s team, including a state placer and a state alternate.
The squad will be led by seniors Charlie Bruyere, Sam Herron, Jake Jennings, Quentin Layman and Cody Swabb. Herron is a two-time district qualifier and state alternate in 2007, while Jennings is a district qualifier and Layman, a sectional placer.
Juniors include Matt Breisch, Aaron Devenport, Jerry Evans, Josh McMillion and Josh Shefbuch. Both Breisch and McMillion are district qualifiers, Breisch qualifying twice, while Shefbuch is a district alternate and Devenport, a returning letterman.
They are joined by a large sophomore class including Sam Angle, Lon Bitner, Andrew DeHart, Cory Ely, Brandon Flora, Devan Selanders, Tyler Tebbe and Ben Wilson. Last season, DeHart became the school’s first freshman state qualifier and placed 6th in the state at 130 lbs. Both Ely and Tebbe return as sectional placers. New to this year’s team are freshmen Jamie Hess, Jordan McIntosh and Cody Minnich.
Despite good numbers, Covington may be forced to forfeit a few weight classes this season. The Buccs look to make up for this deficit with a nice mix of talent and experience in the rest of their lineup that will help them compete with the mostly Division 1 and 2 teams that are on their schedule. Covington returns to the challenging GMVWA Holiday tournament and will compete in the Versailles Invitational for the first time this season. The Buccs will also square off with some of the top dual-meet teams in the western part of the state, including Coldwater, Troy and Versailles. Additionally, the JV team will travel to some very competitive reserve tournaments including Preble Shawnee, Sidney, Versailles and Vandalia-Butler.
Covington has home meets with Oakwood, Coldwater and Versailles and will once again host the Covington Duals tournament – which includes their Cross County Conference rivals, along with Lehman – where they hope to defend their first-place finish from the past two seasons. Additionally, the Buccs will once again host the Covington Division 3 sectional tournament – whose participants have proven to be the most successful among all divisions in Ohio at the state tournament over the past few years
DEHART BECOMES TWO-TIME STATE PLACER
Andrew DeHart became the third Buccaneer wrestler to place at state for the second time, joining Craig Vanderhorst and Logan Brown. DeHart, a sophomore, finished 4th at 145 pounds.