2008-09: DeHart Takes 2nd, Buccs 24th at Holiday Tourney

Andrew DeHart finished second at the prestigious GMVWA Holiday Tournament.

Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Covington High School wrestling team traveled down to Vandalia-Butler Saturday to compete in the 45-team GMVWA Holiday Tournament. During the first day of wrestling, the Buccs used wins by seven of the eight competing wrestlers to finish in 20th place overall with 40.5 points – despite being the smallest school in the field.

Two Buccaneer wrestlers advanced to the championship quarterfinals. At 119 lbs, Sam Herron won his opening bout with a second period pin over A.J. Bare of Kenton Ridge. He then put in an impressive performance in the next round with a 17-1 technical fall over the no. 5 seed, A.J. Ganger of Miami East – a returning state qualifier. Herron will face the no. 4 seed, state qualifier Randy Kocol of West Carrollton on Sunday.

Andrew DeHart (145 lbs) also advanced in the championship bracket. DeHart defeated Sidney’s Zach Dyer by fall in the opening round, and then bested Cody Washington of Carlisle, by a 17-5 major decision. Andrew will face the no. 7 seed, Kevin McKenzie of Carroll, in the quarterfinal round.

Brandon Flora (130) and Jake Jennings (160) also won their opening bouts. Flora won by pin over Xenia’s Jaycob Burns, while Jennings built a 6-0 lead before pinning Dillon Gilbert of Eaton. Jennings dropped his next bout to Seth Hoffmann of Eastwood, but then rebounded with a second period pin over Justin Black of Campbell County to stay alive in the consolation bracket. Flora dropped his next bout to the no. 1 seed, state runner-up Shawn Fayette of Miamisburg, before losing a decision to Centerville’s Steve Carlsten.

At 125 lbs, Matt Breisch dropped his opening bout to the no. 1 seed – defending state champ Zach Neibert of Graham. Breisch rebounded with a nice 5-2 decision over district qualifier Ty Fisher of Carlisle, before losing a heartbreaking overtime decision to Miamisburg’s Nate Hoagland.

After dropping a narrow decision to Hillsboro’s Johnny Abell, Cory Ely (140) came back strong with a second period pin over Eastwood’s Nick Mommers, before losing a decision to Hamilton’s Jordan Purcell. At 152 lbs, Josh McMillion lost his opener to Graham’s Huston Evans, but then earned a convincing third period pin over Fairmont’s Myles Peck. He dropped his final match Piqua’s Kyle Bryant.

Tyler Tebbe (135) dropped his opening bout to Devin Maloney of Xenia, before losing a late decision to the no. 6 seed, Zack Roland of Ryle, Ky.

Wrestling resumes Sunday at noon, starting with the quarterfinals and third consolation rounds.

Sunday, December 28, 2008
After the second day of wrestling, Covington finished up in 24th place overall out of 43 teams with 57.5 points. Graham won the tournament, followed by Oregon Clay and Miamisburg.

Andrew DeHart led the way for the Buccs and finished as the tournament runner-up at 145 lbs, dropping his final bout by technical fall to two-time state placer Brian Stephens of Graham. To advance to the finals, DeHart won a tight 6-5 decision over Piqua’s Trevor Nickolai, a two-time state qualifier. Earlier, Andrew won his quarterfinal bout with a 10-0 major decision over Kevin McKenzie of Carroll.

At 119 lbs, Sam Herron finished up in the top-twelve, just missing placement in the top-eight. In his quarterfinal bout against Bo Maggard of Eaton, trailing 2-0 with 15 seconds left, Herron left caution to the wind, but was caught by his opponent and pinned. This moved him to the fourth consolation round where a victory would have assured him placement at the prestigious tournament. Unfortunately, Herron fell just short, losing a 2-1 decision to Centerville’s Casey Waterhouse.

Senior Jake Jennings finished the opening day alive in the consolation rounds at 160 pounds, but was unable to wrestle Sunday due to illness.

The high school varsity will wrestle next at the Troy Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 3, while the reserve team travels to the Versailles JV Invitational.

Jake Jennings