Jesse Fisher works for a takedown at Graham.

The Covington wrestling program took advantage of a golden opportunity to test itself against stiff competition at the “Graham Preview” at Graham High School on Saturday.

In an event that gives wrestlers exhibition matches prior to the official start of the competition season, Covington wrestlers took to the mat against some of the top programs around the area – including state Division II state power Graham. It was an opportunity for the Buccaneer grapplers to challenge themselves individually and collectively against many returning state champions, state placers and state qualifiers.

And the Buccaneers performed very well, although none of the wins or losses will officially be tallied on their records.

Returning state placer Cael Vanderhorst (120) had a great evening as he was granted two matches. He won his first match via pin and then finished his second match in a 1-1 tie after his opponent was awarded a point in the final seconds on a stalling call.

Returning state qualifier’s Keringten Martin (152) and Gage Kerrigan (195) picked up where they left off from last year with impressive pins. Martin appeared to be in mid-season form as he built a double digit lead over his opponent until picking up a pin in the final seconds of the third period.

Also recording impressive victories by pin were sophomore Trentin Alexander (170) and freshman Adam Brewer (160).

Winning by decision were junior Austin Flick (145), freshman Jensen Wagoner (152), senior Dylan Burns (160), junior Seth Iddings (160) and sophomore Duncan Cooper (170). Flick’s match was a thrilling contest where the action was tight throughout until the Buccaneer wrestler was able to score two big back points late for a 3-0 win.

Also competing well for the Buccs despite suffering defeats were Devin Newhouse (106), Riley Richards (126), Caleb Miller (138), David Robinson (145), Fletcher Metz, Bryce Smith (152), Dylan Staudt (220) and Jesse Fisher (220).

Covington opens its season at the Northeastern Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Nov 30 – Dec. 1.

Cael Vanderhorst showcased his impressive ability against very stiff competition.