2009-10 COVINGTON BUCCANEERS
It was an historic campaign for the 2009-10 Covington wrestling program as the Buccs established a new school record, going 29-0 in dual meets, and had its first three-time state placer in junior Andrew DeHart.
The Buccs had a big month of December as they defeated Oakwood (55-21), Mechanicsburg (48-34) and Lehman (66-12) in weeknight duals and won the Versailles and Northeastern Duals to go 12-0 before the end of the year.
Covington also competed in the Greater Miami Valley Holiday Tournament to close out the month of December and finished 17th out of 47 teams, despite being the smallest school at the tournament. Andrew DeHart capped an impressive outing with runner-up honors at 145 pounds, falling to state placer Matt Stephens from Graham in the finals.
The new year kicked off with a championship at the Troy Invitational as the Buccs had two champions in Andrew DeHart (145 lbs.) and Dylan Gustin (135 lbs.). Covington tallied 274.5 team points to overtake Kenton Ridge, who had 249.0 team points for the team title.
The Buccs then defeated Troy and Tipp City in the Super Tri-Meet at Tipp City and followed with impressive dual wins over two of the top teams in the area, Coldwater and Dixie. The victory over Coldwater was the first in a decade against the Cavaliers.
Covington concluded the month of January with a runner-up finish at the Ben Logan Invitational, finishing just 1.5 team points behind the host team. This, despite not having a full roster and receiving several buys that prevented the Buccs from gaining valuable team points in the early rounds of the tournament.
Still, Covington was able to take home three individual titles as Matt Breisch (119 lbs.), Kyler Deeter (130 lbs.) and Andrew DeHart (145 lbs.) each won their weight classes. The Buccs also had four more wrestlers reach the finals, only to finish with runner-up honors.
The Buccs began February by traveling to rival Versailles for its annual dual with the Tigers. It was a back-and-forth dual between the two teams with the winner of the dual coming down to an overtime thriller between Josh Shefbuch of Covington and Jacob Bowman of Versailles. Shefbuch pulled out the winning takedown in the extra frame to give Covington a narrow 34-29 victory.
A perfect dual season became a reality for the Buccs at the Covington Invitational as they defeated Tri-County North (63-15), National Trail (72-6), Miami East (56-17), Lehman (66-18) and Arcanum (42-36). The 29-0 dual record surpassed the school’s previous best season established in 1984 with a 16-0-1 record.
The momentum gained throughout the season carried into the sectional tournament as five Buccaneers placed in the top four to secure spots in the district meet; Andrew DeHart (145 lbs.), Kyler Deeter (130 lbs.), Matt Breisch (119 lbs.), Sam Angle (125 lbs.) and Josh McMillion (152 lbs.).
Three other Buccaneer wrestlers narrowly missed qualifying for districts with fifth place finishes: Brock Smith (103 lbs.), Aaron Devenport (160 lbs.) and Brian Olson (171 lbs.).
Andrew DeHart was the lone Buccaneer to advance past the district tournament as the junior captured a district championship at 145 pounds. This qualified DeHart for the state meet for the third consecutive season.
And DeHart didn’t disappoint at state as he became the school’s first three-time state placer by taking second at state – falling just short of a state championship in controversial fashion.
Covington loses five wrestlers to graduation; Matt Breisch, Dylan Gustin, Josh McMillion, Aaron Devenport and Josh Shefbuch, but return a talented lineup next season that includes three district qualifiers and a three-time state placer.
The bar has been set high by the 2009-10 Covington Buccaneers, but with continued hard work and commitment the future of Covington wrestling is very bright.
DEHART BECOMES FIRST THREE-TIME STATE PLACER
Andrew DeHart became the first wrestler in Buccaneer history to place at state three times and just the second wrestler to advance to the state finals. DeHart finished second at state in the 145 pound weight class. The junior has one more year to add to his legacy as one of the top wrestlrrs in the history of the prgram.
Troy/Miami East/Tipp City
Ben Logan Invitational
THE PAUL FINFROCK LEGACY
The following is a transcript spoken by Brad Hall, a former state qualifier and current school board member, during a presentation to honor Paul and Vicky Finfrock at the Covington Invitational on Saturday, February 13, 2010. Wrestling for Covington Schools began in 1973, where Paul Finfrock along with 18 other grapplers formed Covington’s first varsity team: Covington wrestling historians call this the era of the Kimmel brothers. Although the Kimmel’s made their mark on the mat, the Finfrock family is unique in that they have extended their influence on Covington Wrestling both on and off the mat. Paul contributed to the early success of the Buccaneer inaugural season, where the team finished 2-1 in dual competition.