2009-10: Buccs Win Versailles Invitational

Tyler Tebbe

Saturday, December 19, 2009
The Covington High School wrestling team improved their dual meet record to 17-0 by winning the Versailles Invitational Saturday with a 5-0 overall record. In doing so, the team set a school record for the most consecutive dual meet wins in a season, topping the 16 consecutive wins that Covington rolled up during the 1983-84 season when they finished 16-0-1 overall. Going back to last season, the Buccs have now won 26 consecutive duals, with their last loss at the hands of the Coldwater Cavaliers.

The Buccs started off against Cross County Conference rival Arcanum and found themselves in a dog-fight, trailing the Trojans, 30-24, with nine of the fourteen weight classes wrestled. Kyler Deeter (130) then picked up a forfeit to knot the score at 30, before Dylan Gustin (135) earned a decision, and Tyler Tebbe (140) a pin, to give the Buccs some breathing room. Andrew DeHart (145) then earned a forfeit, followed by a pin for Josh McMillion, to give the Buccs a 50-30 victory.

Also winning for Covington were Aaron Devenport (160, pin), Brock Smith (103), Bryton Lear (112) and Matt Breisch (119, pin). Sam Angle (125) and Josh Shefbuch (189) dropped their bouts to Arcanum’s district qualifiers Jared Beatty and John Sullenbarger, while the Buccs forfeited the 215 and 285 lb. weights.

Covington cruised in their next two duals, defeating West Liberty-Salem, 60-15, and National Trail, 72-6. Going 2-0 in those duals were Brock Smith, Bryton Lear, Matt Breisch, Kyler Deeter, Dylan Gustin, Tyler Tebbe, Andrew DeHart, Josh McMillion, Aaron Devenport and Josh Shefbuch. Tebbe defeated National Trail’s district qualifier Caleb Wesler, while Sam Angle dropped a tight 4-3 decision to West Liberty’s district qualifier Britt Wooten.

The Buccs then squared off with perennial power Versailles in the fourth round. The dual started at 215 lbs as Covington’s Josh Shefbuch earned a 3-0 decision over Jacob Bowman, before Versailles’ Mitchell Jokenst picked up a forfeit at 285 lbs. At 103 lbs, Brock Smith would earn an 11-0 major decision over Andrew Slonkosky to get the lead back for the Buccs, 7-6. Versailles then responded as district alternate Seth Davis pinned Bryton Lear at 112 lbs and the Tigers led 12-7.

Covington’s Matt Briesch (119) reversed the momentum with a first period pin over Mitch Bergman that gave the Buccs a one-point lead. Covington wouldn’t trail the rest of the dual as Sam Angle (125), Kyler Deeter (130), Dylan Gustin (135), Tyler Tebbe (140) and Andrew DeHart (145) each picked up pins to build a 43-12 lead. Versailles’ state qualifier Thomas Fullenkamp (152) earned a major decision victory over Justin McMillion followed by Aaron Devenport (160) earning a pin for the Buccs. Versailles’ Joey Brandt then picked up a forfeit at 171 lbs, before Covington’s Brian Olson (189) ended the dual with a 4-3 win over Luke Schlater to give the Buccs a 51-22 victory.

This set up the final dual of the tournament between undefeated Covington and the no. 1 seed, Zane Trace – a team featuring seven returning district qualifiers, including one state qualifier. After trading forfeits at 285 and 103 lbs, Covington’s Bryton Lear (112) came out strong with a takedown and near fall over Joey Weisenberger, before getting reversed. The Buccs picked up the victory, however, as the Zane Trace wrestler was disqualified for an illegal move.

Matt Briesch (119) once again kicked off a streak of wins for the Buccs with a technical fall, followed by Sam Angle’s 4-3 victory over district qualifier Josh Wilson at 125 lbs. Kyler Deeter (130) and Dylan Gustin (135) each picked up pins, before Covington’s Tyler Tebbe (140) pinned district qualifier Matt Boedeker in convincing fashion.

Andrew DeHart (145) then built up a 44-6 team lead – and the guaranteed victory – with a first-period pin over district qualifier Nate Patrick. Zane Trace’s state qualifier, Weston Davis, responded with a 19-9 major decision over Josh McMillion. Aaron Devenport (160) picked up another pin for the Buccs, before Zane Trace’s district qualifier John Penn came from behind to defeat Brian Olson at 171 lbs. Covington’s Josh Shefbuch (189) then fell to district qualifier Cody Stonerock and Shay Greenwalt picked up a forfeit at 215 lbs for Zane Trace. Covington ended up winning the finals by a score of 50-28.

Also on Saturday, the Covington reserve team traveled to the 19-team Preble Shawnee JV invitational. Picking up wins by pin for the Buccs were Jake Sowers (125), Alex Bitner (130), Brandon Flora (135) and Lon Bitner (140). Justin Millhouse (112), D.J. Seger (125), and Cody Burton (215) also competed for the Buccs. Brandon Flora earned a third-place finish – Covington’s highest ever at the tournament – in a field that included wrestling powers Cincinnati Moeller, Centerville, Harrison and Miamisburg, among others.

The Buccs travel to Vandalia-Butler next to take part in the 47-team Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association (GMVWA) Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 29 and 30.

Sam Angle