Ryan Ford works for a reversal against Versailles.

Covington put in two impressive performances in their duals with Versailles and Northridge on Tuesday, sweeping both teams to start the season with a 2-0 dual meet record. In the opening round, the Buccs squared off against the returning state-semifinalist Tigers and came away with a hard-fought 46-20 victory.

Versailles’ Ian Heistand gave his squad a 3-0 lead with a 6-5 victory over Justin Daniel (220), before Covington’s Jordan Wolfe (285) tied things up with a 5-3 decision over Grant Keller. Connor Ryan (106) then picked up a forfeit for the Buccs, followed by Tanner Bey’s technical fall over Coleman Ryan (113) of Covington. Versailles would then take a 14-9 lead after Nathan Henry (120) received a forfeit.

Covington’s Branden Robinson (126) then sparked the Buccs with an aggressive victory, earning a second-period pin over Lane Feltz. The next bout featured the first of two marquee head-to-head matchups, as Covington’s state alternate Ryan Ford (132) squared off against Versailles’ state qualifier Matt Mangen. Ford won an exciting 9-3 victory to give the Buccs an 18-14 lead. Lance Miller (138) then followed with a 16-3 major decision over Versailles’ Austin Didier to extend the lead, 22-14.

Versailles responded with a pin by Bo Bey over Ross Bowman (145) to trail the Buccs by just 22-20, but Covington would take control by winning the final five bouts to take the 46-20 victory over the Tigers.

Deron White (152) won a solid 17-7 decision over Jonny Moorman, followed by Daniel Jennings’ (160) pin over Shane McGlinch. Brandon Magee (170) would then earn a 15-0 technical fall over Erik Knapke, before Ben Miller (182) stormed to a first-period pin over Kyle Gigandet.

The final bout of the dual nearly went to overtime as returning state placer A.J. Ouellette (195) from Covington faced Versailles’ returning state qualifier Kyle Dieringer. After a scoreless first period, Ouellette would take a 1-0 lead with an escape in the second, before Dieringer knotted the score 1-1 with an escape of his own in the third. With short time left in regulation, Ouellette scored a takedown for the lead, giving up an escape for the 3-2 victory.

In JV action, Ian Fries (220) earned a second-period pin, while Josh Sowers and Logan Fields each dropped physical bouts.

The Buccs then won a dominating 72-9 victory over Northridge. Winning by pin were Branden Robinson (126), Ryan Ford (132), Deron White (152), Daniel Jennings (160), Brandon Magee (170), Ben Miller (182) and A.J. Ouellette (195). Connor Ryan (106), Lance Miller (138), Ross Bowman (145), Justin Daniel (220) and Jordan Wolfe (285) each picked up forfeits, while Coleman Ryan (113) gained some valuable experience in dropping a tough decision. Versailles defeated Northridge, 80-6.

In Jr. High action, Covington split on the evening, defeating Northridge, 42-22, but falling to Versailles, 60-21. Going 2-0 for the Buccs were Jared Ford (110, pin), Joey Schmelzer (128, 2 pins) and Gage DeHart (142, pin). Finishing 1-1 were Keringten Martin (104, pin), Caleb Brooks (122), Christian Meyer (134) and Bryce Keiser (205). Jacob McQuinn (150) went 1-0, while Chris Triplett (86), Kris Barnhart (92), Riley Richards (110), Gavin McReynolds (116) and Kirsten Fries (134) each gained valuable experience, facing seasoned opponents.

Covington High School competes next at the 10-team Northeastern Invitational on Friday and Saturday, December 6-7. The Jr. High competes next with the high school in a tri with Brookville and Mechanicsburg on Tuesday, December 17.

Freshman 126 pounder Branden Robinson recorded a big pin over Versailles for his first high school win.
In the feature match of the evening, Covington’s returning state placer A.J. Ouellette recorded the winning takedown in the final period against returning state qualifier Kyle Dieringer of Versailles.