Ryan Ford qualified for state for the second straight season.

After two championship rounds and one consolation round, all six Covington Buccaneers who qualified for the district tournament are still alive heading into the second day.

Three of those wrestlers moved on to the championship semifinal by winning their first two matches – Jarred Ganger (132), Ryan Ford (138) and Ben Miller (182).

Ganger, a defending two-time state champion, opened the tournament with a 1:54 pin of Jeremy Behnken of Brookville. He followed with a dominating 15-0 tech. fall victory over returning state qualifier Spencer Siebert of Coldwater in the quarterfinals and will battle Chase Mayabb of Milton-Union tomorrow in the semifinal.

Ryan Ford, a returning state placer for the Buccs, started his day with a 1:43 pin against Trent Brewer of Williamsburg and followed with an 18-3 tech. fall over Luke Brown of Allen East. He moves on to the semifinal where he will face Corey Bogan of Mechanicsburg.

Ben Miller, who also is a returning state placer for the Buccs, was equally dominant in his first two matches at 182 pounds as he waisted little time in pinning Milton-Union’s John Wheelock in 12 seconds. Miller then dispatched Tyler Foust of Delphos Jefferson in the quarterfinals with a 21-11 major decision. He will face Coldwater’s Jake Schmidt in the semifinals tomorrow morning.

Three Buccaneers move on to the second day in the consolation bracket – Jared Ford (113), Lance Miller (152) and Gage Dehart (160). All three are looking for their first state birth.

Ford opened the tournament with an impressive 16-0 tech. fall victory over Kyle Sigler of Coldwater, but was pinned by Tommy Hoskins of Dayton Christian in the quarterfinals. He will wrestle back against Preston Platfoot of Versailles.

Lance Miller pinned Christian Stechschulte of Columbus Grove in his opening match of the tournament, but fell to returning state placer Nick Vestal of Dayton Christian in the quarterfinals. He takes on Zaine Cotterman of Wayne Trace tomorrow morning in the consolation bracket.

Gage Dehart had an unfortunate draw to start his tournament as he was pitted against Andrew Hoskins of Dayton Christian. But, after dropping the match to Hoskins, Dehart rebounded with a dominating 19-3 tech. fall victory over Shawn Tarvin of Williamsburg. He takes on Jacob Thompson of Triad in a rematch from last week’s sectional semifinal bout in which Thompson escaped with a narrow 4-3 win over Dehart.

Covington is currently in fourth in the team standings with 41 points, behind Dayton Christian (90), Mechanicsburg (69.5) and Troy Christian (55.5).

Wrestling resumes tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:00 am with the finals slated to begin at 4:00pm.

Ben Miller returns to state, this time at 182 pounds.

Covington coach Tom Barbee has become accustom to seeing Buccaneer wrestlers qualify for the state wrestling meet. Still, it never gets old for the longtime coach as evident by the smile on his face after four Buccaneer wrestlers qualified for state with top four finishes in the Division III District Championships at Troy’s Hobart Arena.

“Proud of them,” said Barbee. “This was a very tough district, one of the toughest in the state, but our kids wrestled well.”

Covington sent six wrestlers to districts and finished fourth in the team standings with 100 team points. Dayton Christian won the tournament with 222 points, while Mechanicsburg was runner-up with 154.5 points and Troy Christian finished third with 110 team points.

The Buccaneers had one champion, two finish as runner-up and another take fourth.

Jarred Ganger had a dominating tournament at 132 pounds with a pin and a tech. fall on Friday and then an 11-2 major decision win over Chase Mayabb of Milton-Union in the semifinal on Saturday morning. He then recorded a 20-9 major decision win over Dayton Christian’s Hunter Bray in the championship bout.

This sets the stage for Ganger to return to Columbus with hopes of capturing his third straight state title.

Ryan Ford advanced to the finals at 132 pounds with a 10-2 major decision victory over Corey Bogan of Mechanicsburg. He then dropped his championship match to David Carr of Dayton Christian by the slimmest of margins, 1-0. Ford returns to Columbus looking to improve on his third place finish at state a year ago.

Also reaching the finals for the Buccaneers was 182 pound returning state placer, Ben Miller. He gutted out a 6-3 decision victory over Jake Schmidt of Coldwater in the semifinal, but dropped his championship match to Jack Huffman of Lima Central Catholic by the score of 6-1. Like Ford, Ben Miller hopes to finish higher on the podium after finishing sixth at state last season.

The fourth Buccaneer to qualify for state was 152 pound sophomore Lance Miller, who had a brutal path to Columbus. After falling Friday evening to Nick Vestal of Dayton Christian, who was a returning state placer and the eventual district runner-up at 152, Miller pinned Zaine Cotterman of Wayne Trace and won a 15-2 major decision victory over Ryan Stoller of Van Wert.

Miller then punched his ticket to state in the consolation semifinal with a 4:49 pin of Brandon Soules of Allen East, before dropping a close sudden death match to Davey Tunon of Clinton Massie in the consolation final.

Two Buccaneers saw their seasons come to an end, but not before putting forth gallant efforts after falling into the consolation brackets on Friday.

Freshman 113 pounder Jared Ford rebounded Saturday morning with a 2:33 pin of Preston Platfoot of Versailles, but dropped a tough 3-0 decision to Kyle Denier of Blanchester in the third consolation round.

Gage Dehart, a freshman 160 pounder, also came back strong after dropping into the consolation round on Friday. He avenged a defeat from sectionals by eliminating Jacob Thompson of Triad with a 7-4 win. Dehart then was in a close match against Mechanicsburg’s Logan Hartman, before getting caught in a scramble. The two wrestlers who defeated Dehart at districts finished first and third at 160 pounds.

Jarred Ganger returns to state looking for his third state title and fourth state medal.
Sophomore Lance Miller makes his first trip to the state meet.