Covington senior Lance Miller qualified for the state meet for the second time in his career.

Friday, March 3, 2017
All five Covington wrestlers who qualified for the district tournament are still alive in their quests to become state qualifiers after the first day of wrestling at Troy’s Hobart Arena.

The lone Buccaneer wrestler still in contention for a district championship is senior 160 pounder, Lance Miller.

Miller was dominant as he spent just over two minutes one the mat the entire evening in recording pins in his first two matches. Miller opened with a 39 second pin of Thomas Wright of East Clinton and then dispatched of Garrett Neth of Allen East in 1:34.

Lance (42-4) will face Jesse Mitchell (41-4) of South Charleston Southeastern in the Semifinals tomorrow – where a win would secure a spot in the district championship match later in the evening and a state birth for the Buccaneer senior.

The remaining four Buccaneer wrestlers are alive in the consolation rounds and must return strong tomorrow through the wrestle-backs in order to earn a spot at state.

Dolan Young (36-9) earned a 16-1 technical fall victory over Clara Hillyard of North Union in his opening match at 106 pounds. Young then dropped his quarterfinal match to Tyler Bauer of Wayne Trace (30-8) and will take on Brayden Esposito (33-16) of East Clinton tomorrow morning in the consolation rounds.

Riley Richards (25-12) found the going tough in a loss to Jackson Hugentobler (32-7) of Madeira in his opening match at 126 pounds, but was able to respond with a 2:10 pin of Preston Browning (17-13) of Parkway in the wrestle-backs. Richards will face Justin Sigler (36-13) of Coldwater in his first match tomorrow.

Keringten Martin (33-12) breezed through his opening match with a 17-2 technical fall victory over Brandon Lewis (14-14) on Ridgedale, but suffered an unfortunate setback against Wyatt Place (42-4) of Delphos Jefferson in the quarterfinal. In what was a close match for much of the three periods, Martin trailed 4-1 late and had to take a chance in the last 20 seconds – resulting in a five-point move and 9-1 major decision for Place. Keringten will battle Jasper Scarberry (14-14) of Ottawa-Glandorf in his first consolation match tomorrow morning.

Senior 152 pounder Deron White (34-13) dropped a heartbreaking 3-2 decision to Austin Mault (22-7) of Bluffton in his opening match as a very close takedown attempt by White in the final seconds was waved off. White was able to put his misfortune behind him by pinning Dequan Adams (22-17) of North College Hill and hopes to keep the momentum rolling on Saturday morning as he take on Noah Morgan (32-15) of East Clinton.

Wrestling resumes at 10am tomorrow (Saturday) with a round of consolations and the championship semifinals.

Deron White looks for a pin during the district tournament.

Saturday, March 4, 2017
In what is the final season of longtime – and legendary – Buccaneer wrestling coach Tom Barbee, the tradition of sending wrestlers to the state tournament continues with senior 160 pounder Lance Miller, who claimed a district championship on Saturday with a dominating 16-3 major decision victory over Seth Henderson of Miami Valley Christian Academy.

But what made Miller’s accomplishment that much sweeter was the fact that it came on a night where the Southwest District recognized Coach Barbee for his 444 career dual wins, which ranks third in the history of high school wrestling in the state of Ohio.

Plus, Miller has an opportunity next weekend to become the school’s 11th state placer – all coached by Tom Barbee.

And Miller put himself in excellent position to do just that as he followed up a dominating first night at the district meet with an equally dominating second day by recording a 14-2 major decision win over Jesse Mitchell of Southeastern in the semifinals and then a 16-3 victory in his district championship match.

In all, Miller recorded two pins and two major decisions at districts and heads into the state tournament with plenty of momentum and knowing he is peaking at the right time.

Unfortunately, the Buccaneers couldn’t qualify any of the four other wrestlers to state – wrestlers who made it to day two of a very tough district tournament.

Dolan Young (106) won his second consolation round match via 3:41 pin of Brayden Esposito of East Clinton, but dropped a heartbreaking 2-0 decision to Cael Bey of Versailles in the third consolation round.

Riley Richards (126) suffered a similar fate as he dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to Justin Sigler of Coldwater in the consolation rounds.

Keringten Martin (138) advanced through the consolation rounds with a 7-1 win over Jasper Scarberry of Ottawa-Glandorf and a 5-3 win over Jordan Hinegardner of Lima Central Catholic to put himself one match away from qualifying for state. Unfortunately, he ran into returning state qualifier Zane Strubler of Miami East and came up short in his qualifying match.

Still, Martin had an opportunity to become a state alternate, but came up short once again in a very close 3-1 decision to Wyatt Place of Delphos Jefferson.

Deron White (152) advanced to the second day of the tournament and opened with an impressive 1:48 pin of Noah Morgan of East Clinton. Unfortunately, White dropped the third consolation round match to Wyatt Lefker of Williamsburg to end his career with 103 career wins.

Still, it was yet another historic weekend for Covington wrestling as Lance Miller will represent the storied tradition of Buccaneer wrestling at the state wrestling meet next week.

And in his corner for the final weekend will be a Covington legend – Tom Barbee.

Keringten Martin is in control on his way to a win at 138 pounds.