The Covington Buccaneers finished Runner-up at the District Tournament.

Covington put in a strong showing at the 53-team District wrestling tournament held at Troy’s Hobart Arena on Friday night. The Buccs advanced ten of their thirteen wrestlers into the second day of competition, including four who advanced to the semifinal round. Covington currently sits in second place overall with 61 points, in between leader Dayton Christian (77) and Mechanicsburg (46).

Jarred Ganger (126) was the first Buccaneer to advance to the semifinals with consecutive pins over Matt Baxter of Wayne Trace and Tristan Green of Blanchester. He faces Mekhi Jones of North College Hill in the morning.

Ryan Ford (132) also advanced in impressive fashion with pins over Peter Hummel of Brookville and Trevor Bockey of Spencerville. He will face Chaminade-Julienne’s Lyle Plummer in the semifinals.

Ben Miller (170) advanced in similar fashion with pins over Patrick Keown of Williamsburg and Josh Kirby of Madison. He will square off against Delphos St. John’s Wes Buettner in the morning.

A.J. Ouellette (195) also advanced to the semifinals with a pin over Austin Schulte of Delphos St. Johns, followed by a 14-2 major decision over Donald Moore of Waynesville. He faces Lima Central Catholic’s Jack Huffman tomorrow.

Connor Ryan (106) pinned Alec Wince of Reading before dropping a technical fall to Wayne Trace’s George Clemens. Daniel Jennings (152) pinned Hunter Binkley of Jefferson then dropped a decision to Austin Siemon of Deer Park. Brandon Magee (160) upset sectional champion Tytus Collins of Waynesville, 13-7, then dropped a decision to Coldwater’s Jake Schmidt. Ian Fries (220) opened with a pin over Davionne Laney of Summit Country Day before dropping a decision to Coldwater’s Justin Post.

Josh Sowers (120) and Lance Miller (138) rebounded after dropping their opening bouts. Sowers stayed alive with a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over Coldwater’s Tyler Hemmelgarn, while Miller came back with a win over sectional champion Justin Siefker of Delphos St. Johns.

Coleman Ryan (113), Deron White (145) and Jordan Wolfe (285) each saw their seasons come to an end with hard-fought losses.

Wrestling resumes Saturday morning at 10 am with the finals set for approximately 4 pm.

Ben Miller jumps into the arms of Mike Stephan after qualifying for state.

Covington finished the Division 3 District Tournament at Troy’s Hobart Arena in outstanding fashion – sending a school-record five wrestlers to the state tournament, along with a state alternate. The Buccs finished in second place out of 53 teams overall. Dayton Christian won the event, while Mechanicsburg took third.

The Buccs also set another school record with three district champions – Jarred Ganger, Ryan Ford and A.J. Ouellette. Ganger (126) earned a 13-5 major decision over Versailles’ Matt Mangen in the finals after recording a technical fall over Mekhi Jones of North College Hill in the semifinals.

Ford (132) won an exciting 3-1 overtime decision over Chaminade-Julienne’s Lyle Plummer in the semifinals before getting a 3-2 victory over Troy Christian’s Cody Ohnmeiss in the finals. Ouellette (195) faced Versailles’ Kyle Dieringer in the finals – their fifth bout this season – and came away with a 3-2 win. He defeated Lima Central Catholic’s Jack Huffman, 2-1, in the semifinals.

Ben Miller (170) also advanced to the finals with a 5-4 decision over Delphos St. John’s Wes Buettner, then finished in second place as he dropped an exciting 7-5 overtime decision to National Trail’s Zach Sullivan.

Daniel Jennings (152) advanced to state by battling through the consolation rounds for a fourth-place finish. He started the day with an 11-4 victory over Milton-Union’s Canaan Berry, before earning a solid 3-0 victory over Blanchester’s Robert Huston. He then won an exciting 5-3 victory over Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy’s Kealli Cummings – avenging a loss from earlier in the season. Jennings then dropped a back-and-forth 6-4 decision to Deer Park’s Austin Siemon in the finals.

Connor Ryan (106) just missed qualifying as he battled through the consolations, but dropped his go-to match in the finals seconds, 4-2, to Blanchester’s Kyle Denier. Ryan started with a pin over Delphos Jefferson’s David Grant, followed by a 3-2 ultimate tie-breaker victory over Clermont Northeastern’s Seth Chambers. Ryan ended on a strong note by winning his final match 1-0 over Clinton Massie’s Justin Gibbs to finish as a state alternate.

Brandon Magee (160) started the day with a pin over Bethel-Tate’s B.J. Ratcliff, before dropping his next bout to Deer Park’s Kamran Alexander. Josh Sowers (120), Lance Miller (138) and Ian Fries (220) each dropped their second consolation round matches.

Covington will compete at the State Tournament on Thursday through Saturday, February 27 – March 1, at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

Daniel Jennings qualified for state at 145 pounds.
Jarred Ganger won a district championship at 126 pounds.
Ryan Ford won a district title at 132 pounds.
A.J. Ouellette won the 195 pound weight class at the district tournament.
Connor Ryan placed fifth at 106 pounds to become a state alternate.