Jake Sowers

Saturday, February 11, 2011
The Covington High School and Jr. High wrestling teams hosted their Cross County Conference rivals, Arcanum, Miami East, National Trail, Tri-County North and Twin Valley South, along with Lehman, at the Covington Duals Invitational on Saturday. Covington High School took first place going 5-0 on the day to conclude their dual meet season with a 21-6 overall record, while Covington Jr. High also placed first overall with a 5-0 record.

In high school action, Tri-County North (4-1) took second, Arcanum (3-2) third, Miami East and National Trail tied for fourth (2-3), Twin Valley South (1-4) took sixth and Lehman (0-5) seventh. In the Jr. High competition, Miami East (4-1) placed second, Twin Valley South (3-2) third, Arcanum (2-3) fourth, Lehman (1-4) fifth and National Trail (0-5) sixth.

Covington high school opened with a close 36-30 victory over Arcanum. Winning by pin for the Buccs were Bryton Lear (126), Brock Smith (132), Jake Sowers (145) and Cole Smith (152). Brian Olson (182) earned a technical fall, while Kyler Deeter (138) picked up a major decision and Justin Daniel (195) a regular decision.

The Buccs followed with a 53-27 victory over Miami East. Jake Sowers (145) and Ben Miller (160) earned pins for Covington, while Brock Smith (132) picked up a technical fall. Earning forfeits were Kyler Deeter (138), Cole Smith (152), Gage Looker (182), Brian Olson (195), Justin Daniel (220) and Jordan Wolfe (285).

Covington then earned a 54-12 victory over National Trail. Picking up pins were Brock Smith (132), Jake Sowers (145), Ben Miller (160) and Justin Daniel (220). Bryton Lear (126), Kyler Deeter (138), Cole Smith (152), Gage Looker (182) and Brian Olson (195) earned forfeits in the dual.

In their fourth dual, the Buccs defeated Twin Valley South 53-12. Brock Smith (132), Kyler Deeter (138), Jake Sowers (145), Cole Smith (152), Ben Miller (160), Alex Fries (170), Brian Olson (182) and Justin Daniel (195) all earned pins, while Bryton Lear (126) won by technical fall.

This set up the final dual between Covington and Tri-County North – two 4-0 teams who needed this final victory to win the championship. Kyler Deeter (138) started things off with a pin to give the Buccs a 6-0 lead. Covington – who would normally spot Tri-County North four forfeits and 24 teams points – took a chance by bumping six of their wrestlers up one weight class in order to only give up three forfeits and 18 team points. The Buccs inserted Daniel Jennings into the line-up at 145 lbs and he came out strong with a 12-1 major decision to give Covington a 10-0 lead.

Jake Sowers then earned a pin at 152 lbs and started the string of six Covington wrestlers giving up anywhere from 8-25 lbs to their opponents. Cole Smith (160) found himself trailing 4-0 early before storming back for an 18-9 major decision. Ben Miller (170) also came from behind to win 11-6 and give the Buccs a 23-6 advantage.

Tri-County North’s Jacob Schlater then picked up a pin over Gage Looker at 182 lbs, before Covington’s Brian Olson earned a 16-0 technical fall at 195 lbs. to extend the Buccs lead, 28-10. North would then reel off a string of five straight victories to take the lead from Covington. At 220 lbs, Justin Daniel lost a 9-1 decision before North picked up forfeits at 285, 113 and 120 lbs. Then at 126 lbs, North’s Colyn Brower came from behind to win a scramble over Bryton Lear (126) and give the Panthers a 34-28 lead heading into the final match.

With the dual on the line and his opponent doing everything he could to avoid giving up six team points, Covington’s Brock Smith (132) came through in a big way with a second period pin to knot the team score 34-34. The officials then went to the fourth tie-breaking criteria – greater number of matches won – to give Covington the one-point victory over North, 35-34, as the Buccs won seven matches to the Panthers’ six, to take first place overall. Covington competes next at the Lehman Division 3 sectional tournament on Friday and Saturday, February 17-18.

In Jr. High action, Covington opened with a 35-12 victory over Lehman, followed by a 48-21 victory over Twin Valley South. The Buccs then defeated Arcanum, 45-9, before earning a 42-12 win over National Trail. This set up the championship dual with Miami East – also 4-0 – in the final round, where Covington came through with a 42-21 victory to conclude their season.

Going 5-0 individually for the Jr. High were Josh Sowers (92 lbs, 1 pin), Ross Bowman (98 lbs), Branden Robinson (104, 2 pins), Ryan Ford (122, 4 pins), Deron White (128, 3 pins) and Brandon Magee (160, 3 pins). Michael Cox (104) and Ian Fries (205, 2 pins) finished 3-2, while Tristan Francis (116) went 2-3.

In the final bout of the day, Covington’s Brock Smith recorded the pin the Buccs needed to surpass Tri-County North for the team title.