Lance Miller locks up a pin during the sectional tournament.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
Five Covington wrestlers qualified for next week’s district tournament by finishing in the top four in their respective weight classes, while one more Buccaneer wrestlers earned district alternate status by taking fifth.

Covington also had a strong showing in the team standings – finishing fifth with 133.5 points behind team champion Mechaniscburg (234), Versailles (197.5), Troy Christian (189.5) and Milton-Union (135.5).

Lance Miller, who is looking to get back to state after qualifying as a sophomore in 2015, was the lone sectional champion for the Buccaneers as he won the 160 pound weight class by pinning Mechanicsburg’s Corey Bogan in 1:29 of the championship match.

Miller entered the tournament as the top seeded wrestler at 160 and advanced to the finals with 1:37 pin of Landon Armbruster of Brookville in the semifinals. The Buccaneer senior went 4-0 at sectionals with four pins as he also stuck Kevin Buck of Stivers in 1:21 and took just 24 seconds to pin Tri-County North’s Zane Krull.

Dolan Young, Riley Richards and Deron White all earned third place to qualify for district, while Keringten Martin qualified with a fourth place finish at 138 pounds.

Young, a sophomore 106 pounder, started the tournament with a 3:29 pin of Ethan Derryberry of Lehman Catholic before falling to Cael Bey of Versailles in the semifinal round. Dolan rebounded with an 18-3 technical fall victory over Mechanicsburg’s Dakota Lay in the consolation semifinal and then defeated Andrew Hutchinson of Tri-County North 14-12 in overtime in the consolation final.

Riley Richards opened up his tournament with an impressive 15-0 technical fall victory over Milton-Union’s Payton Brown, but dropped a tough 6-0 decision to Preston Platfoot of Versailles in the semifinals.

Richards secured his spot at districts with a 2:11 pin of Lear Current of Troy Christian in the consolation semifinal and then followed with a 14-4 major decision victory over Chayse Eby of Tri-County North to claim third place at 126 pounds.

Deron White earned his 100th career win.
Deron White celebrates with his family after earning his 100th career win.

Deron White stamped his ticket to the district meet despite entering the tournament as the sixth seeded wrestler in a stacked 152 pound weight class – and in the process, earned his 100th career win.

The Buccaneer senior opened the tournament with a 1:24 pin of Austin VanHoose of Triad and then followed with a critical 9-8 win over Steven Brown of Dixie in the quarterfinals.

After dropping a heartbreaking 9-8 decision to Dylan Schneck of Milton-Union in the semifinals, White rebounded with an 8-3 victory over Caleb Hoskins of Troy Christian and a 9-7 win over Josh Cook of National Trail to take third.

Much like Deron White, Keringten Martin had to battle through arguably the toughest weight class of the sectional to earn his spot at the district meet.

Martin, who entered the tournament as the fifth seed at 138 pounds, opened the sectional with a 3:05 pin of Jacob Bills of Northwestern and followed with a 5-0 win over fourth seed Wesley Carter of Northridge.

He then dropped a very close 5-2 decision to returning state qualifier and top seeded Kamron Paulus of Milton-Union in the semifinals, but rebounded with a dominating performance against Dylan Burns of Arcanum.

In the match against Burns, Martin was leading 11-1 in the third period when Burns was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct.

This secured the Buccaneer sophomore’s birth to the district meet and advanced him to the consolation semifinal against returning state qualifier Zane Strubler of Miami East.

And in a back-and-forth, exciting match, Martin came up just short in the 3-2 decision to finish fourth.

Keeping hope of competing at district alive was senior Josh Sowers, who finished in 5th place as a district alternate at 145 pounds by defeating Northeastern’s Skylar Davis in the finals. Should one of the top four finishers from the Lehman Sectional at 145 pounds fail to make weight or fail skin check, Sowers would move into that wrestler’s slot in the bracket.

Austin Flick (132, 3 pins) and Ross Bowman (170) finished in 6th place after picking up a number of victories for Covington.

Also competing well for the Buccs were Kyle Barga (120, tech. fall), Gavin McReynolds (182), Bryce Keiser (220) and Carl Lankford (285, 2 pins).

The district tournament starts on Friday at 3:00pm at Troy’s Hobart Arena.

In the toughest weight class in the tournament, Josh Sowers placed fifth at 145 pounds to earn alternate status.