Thursday, February 4, 2010
The Covington high school wrestling team traveled to Versailles to take on the Tigers in a matchup of two of the top division III teams in the Miami Valley. Versailles honored their seniors and senior parents on the night as each side of the gym was packed with enthusiastic fans. Both squads left everything on the mat as the Buccs emerged with a 34-29 victory that came down to the final match. Covington had to battle through some adversity as they were missing a starter in 140 pounder Tyler Tebbe – but the team found a way to pull out the win.
The dual started at 285 lbs. as Versailles’ Andrew Smith picked up a forfeit for a 6-0 Tiger lead. Covington responded at 103 lbs. with Brock Smith earning a 7-4 decision over Andrew Slonkosky. Versailles would extend their lead, 12-3, with a Seth Davis (112) pin over Bryton Lear. Covington then picked up their only forfeit of the dual at 119 lbs, as Matt Breisch narrowed the gap to 12-9.
Sam Angle then gave the Buccs their first lead of the night, 15-12, as he pinned Versailles’ Jordan Cavin at 125 lbs. Covington would then reel off two more victories at 130 and 135 lbs, as Kyler Deeter earned a 13-3 major decision over Tyler Clack and Brandon Flora earned a 7-2 decision over Matt Subler. Versailles then narrowed the Buccs lead, 22-15, with an exciting back-and-forth 5-4 decision by Drew Trump over Dylan Gustin.
Andrew DeHart (145) gave Covington a little breathing room with a first-period pin over Nick Francis to extend their lead to 28-15. Versailles’ Thomas Fullenkamp (152) responded with a 20-4 technical fall over Josh McMillion, before Covington’s Aaron Devenport (160) defeated Kaleb Matchett, 5-2, for a 31-20 Buccaneer lead.
This is where the dual started to get very interesting. Covington bumped each of their next two wrestlers up a weight class for better match-ups and Versailles’ Joe Brandt picked up a forfeit at 171 lbs. to cut the Buccs’ lead to 31-26. Luke Schlater (189) then turned it on late for the Tigers with an 8-4 decision over Brian Olson as Versailles now found themselves down by only two points, 31-29.
At this point only one match remained – where the winner would take all – as Covington’s Josh Shefbuch squared off with Versailles’ Jacob Bowman at 215 lbs. In a bout with a lot of hand-fighting and positioning, Shefbuch found himself trailing 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 after two periods. Starting in the bottom position, Josh scrambled for a reversal but gave up two near-fall points to fall behind 5-1 with only 1 minute remaining.
The large Covington crowd then willed Shefbuch to respond, enthusiastically chanting his nickname, “Boo, Boo, Boo”. After a Versailles locking-hands penalty and a Covington escape, trailing 5-3, Shefbuch pushed the action for a 2-point stalling penalty to tie the score 5-5 and put the bout into overtime. In a scramble where each wrestler almost scored twice, Shefbuch pulled out the takedown and gave Covington a thrilling 34-29 victory over the Tigers.
In reserve action, Covington’s Jake Sowers (125) and Alex Bitner (130) picked up pins over Clint Bubeck and Kyle Mangen, while Versailles’ Mitch Bergman (112) and Kyle Platfoot (135) picked up victories over Justin Millhouse and Lon Bitner.
Covington dropped their Jr. High dual with Versailles, with 3 of their 7 wrestlers picking up wins. Both Alex Schilling and Ben Miller each earned pins, while D.J. Jennings picked up a forfeit. Also competing were Alex Fries, Cole Smith, Dalton Bordelon and Justin Daniel.
The Buccs host the Covington Duals Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 13, with CCC rivals Miami East, Arcanum, Tri-County North and National Trail, along with Lehman. Wrestling starts at 10 am.