Brian Olson Jr. finished sixth at state at 182 pounds.

Brian Olson, Jr. and Kyler Deeter represented Covington very well at the 2012 State Wrestling Meet.

It was a short evening for both Kyler Deeter and Brian Olson as the two Covington wrestlers won their opening bouts of the 2012 Ohio High School State Wrestling Championships at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

“It was a good night,” said Covington coach Tom Barbee after barely 30 minutes of work. “We get to go back to the hotel, rest and relax. Two matches, two wins – can’t get any better than that.”

Kyler Deeter, a returning state placer from a year ago, built a 7-2 lead midway through the second period and had to hold on in the end to advance with an 8-7 victory at 138 pounds.

“It’s good to get the first win out of the way,” Deeter said. “But I didn’t wrestle the way I wanted too.”

Deeter has been battling flu and sinus issues all week.

“I felt dead at first,” explained Deeter. “It got a little better as the match went on, but I didn’t have as much energy as I wanted.”

And it nearly cost Deeter as a 7-2 lead quickly became a nail-biter at the end.

“Once I got the big lead I wrestled not to lose,” he explained. “I didn’t push the action like I should have and it almost cost me.”

Fortunately Deeter was able to hold on, but he knows he’ll need a better effort in tomorrow morning’s quarterfinal match against Zane Nelson (45-4) of Apple Creek Waynedale, who pinned his first round opponent in 1:31.

“I have to be more focused on hitting my shots,” Deeter said. “I came out too defensive tonight and let him control the ties instead of pushing the action. I have to be more offensive tomorrow.”

Coach Barbee agrees.

“You always have to wrestle your match,” Barbee said. “The best defense is your offense.”

Brian Olson (44-8) did push the action in his first match and it led to a 14-4 major decision victory over Steven Farrow (40-7) of Sugarcreek Garaway.

“The first win, it’s pretty incredible knowing how good the competition is here,” said Olson after his first win at state. “I’m feeling good, like my normal self. I tried to tell myself it’s just another tournament and just wrestle.”

And Olson went on the offensive from the outset, recording a takedown for a 2-0 lead.

He pushed his lead to 7-2 after two periods with an escape and two more takedowns as it became apparent that his opponent couldn’t stop Olson on his feet.

“When I got a takedown when the time ran out at the end of the first period, I felt really confident that he couldn’t stop me,” Olson said.

Olson put the match away to start the third period as he scored on a five-point move with the takedown and three back points to push the margin to 12-3.

From there the Covington junior allowed the escape and then capped the evening with one final takedown.

“I knew I could keep hitting my moves,” said Olson. “At first I was nervous, but I tried not to let it get to me. As the match went on I got more comfortable.”

It all led to a win in his first match at state 25 years after his father, Brian Olson Sr. wrestled at state. The two are the only father-son state qualifiers in Covington history.

“He had his usual speech prepared for me,” Olson laughed. “He’s right – well most of the time.”

Next up for Olson is Jake Sheehy (52-2) of Genoa Area, who made quick work of his first round opponent – pinning him in a twister in just 55 seconds.

“We talk to them about staying focused and always wrestling your match, dictate what you want to do,” Barbee said. “That’s what we’ll have to do tomorrow – wrestle the way we want to wrestle.”

Wrestling begins at 10 am.

Brian Olson’s family watches intently as Brian earns a state medal.

Brian Olson came into Columbus as one half of the first father-son combination to become a state qualifier – the other half being his father Brian Sr. in the ’80s – but now the son has bragging rights over his old man.

That’s because Olson (45-8) secured a spot on the podium after upsetting Jake Sheehy of Genoa Area to advance to the semifinals, where he eventually fell to Kevin Stock of Garrettsville Garfield, a state placer at 171 pounds from a year ago.

“That will forever haunt him in the household,” joked Olson in regards to bragging rights over his dad. “But really, not too much because he can still take me. I can only get him a little bit when I jump him from behind.”

Olson didn’t need to jump Sheehy from behind, despite the fact that the Genoa Area wrestler came into the match with an eye-popping 52-2 record and fresh off of a 55 second pin in the opening round of the tournament. All Olson needed was confidence.

Which came in the form of a quick reversal to tie the score at 2-2 after Sheehy scored on an early takedown.

“That definitely brought me back up to pace,” Olson said of the reversal. “He was so tough to get hand control on and I gave up a takedown early in the match. When I got the reversal it gave me some confidence.”

Olson chose bottom to start the second period and Sheehy made the mistake of surrendering the escape and taking the match back to their feet. And Olson made him pay with a beautifully executed barrel-roll to take a 5-2 lead with one period to go.

“I got a nice lead, but I knew I couldn’t coast,” Olson explained. “I had already been called for stalling in the first period, so I didn’t have any margin for error.”

Sheehy chose down to start the third and Olson gave up the escape point to take the match back to their feet again. The Covington junior then switched things up by recording a takedown on a double to push the lead to 7-3.

“I knew he was getting tired and frustrated,” Olson said. “I could see it in his eyes.”

Covington coach Tom Barbee could see the frustration set in as well.

“You could tell by the way his head was down that he was desperate,” Barbee explained. “He didn’t have the same pep that he had early in the match.”

With the clock under 1:00 to go, Olson elected to surrender the escape point once final time in order to control the action on his feet.

And he knew what was coming – the twister.

“The coaches and my dad told me to watch out for the twister,” said Olson. “I knew it was coming, so I sank my hips when he tried to throw it.”

Which resulted in one final takedown to seal a spot on the podium and an semifinal showdown with Stock.

And Olson ran into a buzz saw as Stock built a 9-2 lead before the Covington wrestler could even get settled in.

“He’s a tough kid,” said Olson. “He came out hard and fast and I couldn’t keep up with the pace.”

Still, Olson showed his competitive heart by recording a pair of takedowns later in the match, but couldn’t close the gap in a 17-6 defeat.

“I got in on some doubles and I realized he wasn’t Superman,” Olson said. “He was tired, but I was tired too. It’s so hard to fight back from being down so much early.

In spite of the defeat, Olson is enjoying the ride of climbing as high as he can on the podium tomorrow.

“I’m happy I’ve made it this far, but I’m not done,” Olson said.

His father is enjoying the ride as well.

“I’m extremely proud of him,” Brian Sr. said. “The effort he has put into this season and this weekend is great. You can’t always control who you wrestle, but you can control the effort you give. And I’m proud of his effort.”

Tom Barbee is proud as well.

“Brian has grown leaps and bounds this year,” he said. “We’re so proud of his efforts and how coachable he is. He’s just like his dad.”

Olson will take on Jacob Schlater of Tri-County North in a rubber match. The two have split with each other in the sectional and district tournament.

And with the way Olson is wrestling, Barbee likes his chances.

“He’s wrestling well,” Barbee said. “Now that he’s on the podium it’s about seeing how high we can go. We’ll take it one match at a time.”

For Kyler Deeter, it was a case of tipping your hat to a better man after he dropped a 19-4 technical fall to Zane Nelson (46-4) of Apple Creek Waynesdale and then a 13-4 major decision to Ryan Harris (41-5) of Beachwood.

“In Kyler’s case, he ran into a kid who is just at another level than us,” said Covington assistant coach Eric Vanderhorst. “It’s not like Kyler wrestle horrible. Nelson is just that good.”

Which was apparent from the outset as Nelson had his way on his feet and on the mat as he scored three takedowns and three near-fall points to build a 9-2 lead in the first period.

He then pushed the margin to 13-2 with a quick reversal and two more back points in the second period.

The finishing touches came in the third period as Nelson scored three more takedowns to end the match.

Deeter, who took fourth at 130 pounds a year ago, struggled on his feet throughout the tournament and the trend continued in the consolation bracket against Harris. The Beachwood opponent took advantage en route to recording five takedowns in the match and a 13-4 major decision.

The loss ends Deeter’s junior season at 49-7.

Kyler Deeter works to turn his opponent during the state meet.

The entire weekend has been a whirlwind for Covington junior wrestler Brian Olson as took sixth place at 182 pounds to became the sixth wrestler in Buccaneer history to place at the state meet.

“I’m still trying to take it all in,” said Olson after his memorable weekend. “Everything has been thrown at me so fast that I haven’t really had time to think about the entire weekend as a whole. Now I’ll gather myself, look at my matches and reflect on everything. I’ll take it from there.”

Olson saw two familiar faces as opponents in the third day of wrestling.

First he faced Tri-County North’s Jacob Schlater, a wrestler who pinned Olson at sectionals and Olson beat at district to qualify for state.

“We’ve wrestled each other so many times and know each other well,” Olson said. “He’s always tough.”

And neither wrestler could get much going as the score was knotted at 2-2 at the end of regulation. After each recorded escapes in the second and third overtimes, Olson chose the down position in the ultimate tie breaker.

But he wasn’t able to escape as Schlater moved on to the consolation final.

“It was a match were we both knew what the other was going to do and we blocked each other’s shots,” Olson explained. “It came down to whether I could escape or if he could ride me out and he rode me out.”

Olson then faced Jake Sheehy of Genoa Area with fifth place on the line. It was also a rematch of Olson’s 9-4 win over Sheehy in the championship quarterfinal just 24 hours earlier.

And the trend of the match was the same as Sheehy scored on a takedown early only to see Olson respond with an escape and two takedowns to take a 5-3 lead midway through the third.

But Olson couldn’t maintain the control this time as Sheehy recorded a reversal and three back points in the final minute to claim an 8-5 victory.

“I’m extremely disappointed with the way I wrestled in my last two matches,” Olson said. “It was a three-day tournament and maybe fatigue did set in a little bit, but I’m not making excuses. I’m happy I placed.”

And so is his coach, Tom Barbee.

“We’re very pleased with Brian,” Barbee said. “For him to come here for the first time and win his first two matches to get on the podium is outstanding.”

Barbee is also proud of Kyler Deeter as well, who came up short of placing but still had an outstanding junior season.

“We’re proud of Kyler (Deeter) too,” he said. “He had a tough draw with the Nelson kid and the Harris kid, but he wrestled very well this year. Both of these kids (Deeter and Olson) represented Covington very well.”

And Barbee feels it’s just the beginning for something great for his team next year.

“Both of these kids are back and we have some kids who are capable of joining them here (at state) next year,” Barbee explained. “The difference will be doing a little bit more in the off-season to improve.”

And perhaps enjoy the experience Brian Olson had standing on the podium.

Brian Olson waits on his defeated opponent to return yo the center of the mat.
Kyler Deeter has his hand raised after winning his opening bout at state.