January 26-27, 2018 – Versailles
Covington wrestling coach Eric Vanderhorst proved to be prophetic.
After his Covington team lost to Versailles 47-21 in one semifinal, Vanderhorst mentioned the upcoming regional championship match in the Division III state team duals between the Tigers and Miami East.
“That should be a great match with those two teams,” Vanderhorst said with a smile.
That it was.
The two teams went toe-to-toe – with several roller coaster like momentum swings – and the match was tied at 30 through 195 pounds.
Versailles got a decision from Gage DeHart (220) and a forfeit from Jeffrey Ware (285) to win 39-30 and advance to Columbus for the third time in five years.
The state duals will be held on Feb. 11 at St. John Arena, beginning with the quarterfinals.
For Covington, it found itself in a tough matchup against Versailles in the Regional Semifinal.
“Versailles is a great team,” Vanderhorst said. “I thought our kids really wrestled hard. The dual took 90 minutes, which shows we had a lot of matches that went the full 60 minutes. I felt like our kids really battled.”
For Versailles, Jacob Poling (120), Nick Monnier (132), Kyle Wuebker (145), Isaac Grilliot (182), Gage DeHart (195) and Jeffrey Ware (285) all won by pin.
Tyler Gigandet (170) won by tech fall and Cael Bey (126) and Preston Platfoot (138) won by decision.
For Covington, Kellan Anderson (106) and Gage Kerrigan (220) both won by pin.
Cael Vanderhorst (113), Trentin Alexander (152) and Keringten Martin (160) all won by decision.
Now, Versailles moves on to the Elite Eight.
“We love the team duals because it requires you to be strong all the way through (the lineup),” Versailles’ coach A.J. Bey said. “We talk about that all the time. They are all quality wrestlers. And you never know which 14 it is going to take.”
For Covington, coach Vanderhorst was pleased with his team’s effort in the loss.
“They (Versailles) won the (coin) toss so they were able to set up matches the way they wanted, which is good for twenty points or so, depending on the matches,” said Vanderhorst. “We won five matches and they won nine and I’m very pleased with the matches we won.”
Of the matches Covington lost, there were several that ended up going down to the wire.
“There were some very close matches we lost,” Vanderhorst said. “Our kids wrestles really hard and that’s all you can really ask.”
And in the end, it took all of that as Versailles advanced in a regional final that went to the wire.