2009-10: DeHart Takes Second At State

Championship Preliminaries
Covington’s Andrew DeHart got what he wanted in his opening match of the 2010 State Wrestling Tournament on Thursday – a quick and impressive win.

“I just wanted to get off the mat as fast as possible,” said DeHart of his approach to the first day of the tournament.

And the junior two-time state placer did just that by dominating Jared Deatrick of Paulding en route to a 16-0 technical fall early in second period.

“I could see right away that the other kid was a little intimidated,” DeHart explained. “I just wrestled my match.”

DeHart took control from the outset, recording a takedown 16 seconds into the match.

He followed by turning his opponent with a powerful half – burying it so hard Deatrick’s feet went skyward as he flipped over to his back.

Two patented DeHart cradles followed and the Covington grappler was on top 11-0 at the end of the first period.

“He’s on a mission,” said Covington coach Tom Barbee. “Andrew had the other kid thinking about what he was going to do, which is what you want.”

DeHart kept the pressure on in the second period by recording an escape and following with a takedown for a 14-0 lead.

The capper was another cradle for two more near fall points and a spot in the Quarterfinal against Brandon Sommers of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy (33-7), who was wrestling at the same time on another mat.

“I tried to watch him (Sommers) after my match, but the officials made me leave,” DeHart said. “I wrestled him in junior high (at state), so I feel pretty good about it (the next match).”

Sommers is no stranger to the state tournament as he placed sixth at 130 pounds last year and fifth at 119 pounds in 2008.

“He (Sommers) is a real strong kid,” Barbee said from his view of Sommers on the other mat. “Hopefully we can take advantage of that.”

Being DeHart is a man on a mission, don’t be surprised if he does just that.

Championship Quarterfinal

Andrew DeHart (51-3) changed his approach in his Quarterfinal match against Brandon Sommers of Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and the result was a 4-2 victory for the Buccaneer wrestler.

“We knew this wasn’t going to be a high scoring match like the first one,” said Covington coach Tom Barbee. “He (Sommers) is a solid defensive wrestler that blocks really well, but Andrew did a nice job of staying sound and not making any mistakes that would cost him.”

Sommers’ defensive expertise was on display in the opening frame as DeHart penetrated deep into potential scoring position, but Sommers managed to cling on to DeHart for a stalemate.

DeHart’s third shot attempt went for two points as the Covington wrestler took advantage of a Sommers’ mistake with 20 second to go in the first period.

“He (Sommers) got a little sloppy and I was able to get my legs in to finish the takedown,” DeHart explained. “That takedown was important because he (Sommers) is a good wrestler on top.”

Barbee agreed.

“We knew he (Sommers) liked to throw in the legs and ride (from the top),” said Barbee. “If we didn’t get that takedown Andrew would have had to take more chances in the second period trying to get an escape or a reversal.”

DeHart stayed solid on the bottom in the second period and didn’t allow Sommers to turn him for nearfall points.

Instead, DeHart was awarded a penalty point as Sommers locked his hands with 10 second left in the frame.

“That was a big penalty point,” Barbee said. “Andrew had already been given two cautions, so it (a 3-0 lead) gave us a little more room to work with.”

Sommers chose down in the third period and DeHart countered every escape attempt thrown at him to kill the clock.

It wasn’t until 18 seconds were left on the clock when DeHart gave up a reversal – a strategy to prevent potentially more points.

“I gave it (the reversal) up because I didn’t want to get caught in something stupid (a five-point move),” DeHart said.

Barbee felt it was a smart move on DeHart’s part.

“If you give up the escape it gives them an opportunity to get a quick takedown to tie the match and maybe even get nearfall points depending on how it shakes out,” Barbee explained. “By giving up the reversal at that point it was a good move because he (Sommers) wasn’t close to turning Andrew in the second period. Andrew stayed solid and didn’t give him (Sommers) anything to work with.”

With two seconds left Sommers gave DeHart an escape in a futile attempt to record a tying takedown.

Next up for DeHart will be Luke Boehm (50-5) of Montpelier in the semifinal later this evening.

Championship Semfinal

Winning by injury default wasn’t what Andrew DeHart wanted to experience in a match that punched his ticket to the state final.

“I didn’t want to win that way,” said DeHart, obviously concerned over the injury Luke Boehm of Montpelier suffered near the end of the first period. “I don’t like hurting anyone.”

Which was apparent by the expression on DeHart’s face as he patted Boehm on the back while the referee raised his hand in victory. The two wrestlers shared kind words before departing the mat.

“I just told him that I hope he’s OK,” DeHart explained. “I wished him good luck and that I hope he can continue to wrestle tomorrow.”

Prior to the stoppage, which took place in between the first and second periods, DeHart was in total control.

The Covington wrestler scored a takedown just eight seconds into the match and went to work for three back points with his potent cradle.

Boehm gallantly battled out of it and DeHart reset in an attempt to turn his opponent again. In the process, Boehm’s ankle twisted when DeHart attempted to turn him for back points.

“I heard him scream,” said DeHart. “I was on top of him setting him up for a cradle and when I cranked on it, I knew he was hurt.”

The match was stopped twice due to the injury, giving DeHart his choice of a position to resume the match. He chose down and immediately reversed Boehm for a 7-0 lead.

One final cradle by DeHart resulted into three more back points and a 10-0 lead as it became apparent Boehm couldn’t continue.

“It stinks to win this way,” said DeHart. “But I’m glad I’m in the finals.”

DeHart will see a familiar face in the finals Saturday night in a rubber match against Kyle Burns of Troy Christian. The two faced each other in the sectional final with Burns winning 2-1 and then in the district final with DeHart winning 5-0.

“I knew it could happen (seeing Burns in the final),” DeHart said. “I knew he won (before DeHart wrestled) so I just had to hold up my end of the deal.”

Having an opportunity to win a state championship is rewarding considering this is DeHart’s third trip to state and last year he suffered the flu bug throughout the tournament.

This time around he feels 100% healthy.

“I feel great mentally and physically,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. I’ll try my best to shut him down and wrestle my match.”

The championship finals start at 5:45 pm on Saturday.

Championship Final

Andrew DeHart walked off the mat after a 5-3 loss in his state final match against Troy Christian’s Kyle Burns feeling he can’t catch a break.

Trailing 4-1 in the third period DeHart reversed Burns and turned him to his back for what appeared to be at least six seconds. He was rewarded a reversal, but no back points.

“What do I have to do?,” questioned DeHart. “I know in my heart I won that match. I had him turned to his back for a good six or seven seconds and didn’t even get a two-count out of it. I don’t know what to say.”

Immediately after the no-call for back points, Covington coach Tom Barbee asked to talk to the official.

“I asked him why we didn’t get backs (back points),” Barbee said of his conversation with the official. “All he said was ‘I had a one-count coach’.”

At the very least the one-count should have came immediately on the reversal. But a good five seconds went by before DeHart was awarded two-points for the reversal. By the time the referee got into position to give the one count, six seconds had elapsed. The first count for back points came at seven seconds and Burns rolled his shoulders out at eight.

“Once a guy’s back is exposed to the mat by the other wrestler the reversal has taken place and the counts for back points should begin,” Barbee said. “We felt he (DeHart) should have at the very minimum received two back points. But you can’t change anything now.”

“How does this happen – in the state finals of all places?,” asked DeHart shaking his head. “I can’t believe it.”

After the controversial curcumstances, there were 10 seconds left on the clock and DeHart trailed 4-3. He had to cut Burns, surrendering an escape point to go nuetral, in an attempt to tie the match with a last second takedown.

DeHart didn’t have enough time, however and fell by the score of 5-3 in a match that could have very easily been a 6-4 victory.

It all leaves DeHart beginning from scratch in his quest to become Covington’s second state champion in school history.

“I had it (a state championship),” DeHart said, still shaking his head. “Now I just have to come back next year and work twice as hard. Next time I won’t leave it up to the officials.”

DeHart finishes his junior year with a 52-4 record and as a three-time state placer after placing sixth as a freshman, fourth as a sophomore and now runner-up as a junior.