Jericho Quinter scrambles for a takedown.

Every year the Covington Buccaneers dual with the Versailles Tigers early in the season to give themselves an idea of what improvements need to be made in hopes of positioning themselves for a great season.

And on each occasion the head-to-head matchup is the best dual of the year as both programs are traditionally strong – fielding rosters consisting of quality wrestlers who have state potential.

Tuesday was no different and the two traditionally strong programs locked up in what was an exciting evening of wrestling consisting of back-and-forth matches that came down to a mistake here and there where the other wrestler was able to capitalize for the win.

And when the dust settled, it was Covington who emerged victorious with a narrow 39-31 victory to improve their dual record to 6-0.

Versailles got the early lead as state qualifier Carson Bey turned a close match into a pin over Caleb Miller (160). Covington’s Trentin Alexander (170) then won a 2-1 decision over Caleb Kaiser while teammate Jensen Wagoner (182) won by injury default over Alex Kaiser to give the Buccs a 9-6 lead.

Versailles would then take an 18-12 lead as Noah Gilmore (195) and Taron Tyo (285) both earned forfeits before and after Covington’s Duncan Cooper (220) picked up a narrow 4-3 victory over Brayden Keihl.

Covington then came storming back with four consecutive victories. Michael Hagan (106) won 7-2 over Lane Bergman, followed by Carson Taylor (113) earning a forfeit and Jericho Quinter (120) getting a pin over Levi Barga.

Senior Kellan Anderson (126) then picked up his 150th high school victory by pinning Mike Reed, to put the Buccs ahead 33-18.

The teams traded matches as Versailles’ Peyton Platfoot pinned Jackson Shivedecker, following by Cael Vanderhorst’s pin over Kobe Epperly. Versailles pick up the last two decisions as Noah Barga won 5-2 over David Robinson (145) and Kane Epperly (152) won 9-1 over Connor Sindelir. Luke Brown (145) and Trey Kiser (170) both competed well in JV action.

Covington looks to use the dual as a learning experience going forward as it will face Versailles several more times throughout the year – beginning with the Versailles Invitational on December 19th. Improvement will be critical because you can be assured Versailles will be much improved itself in future outings.

Until then, the Buccs host Dayton Christian on Friday and Miami East next Wednesday.

Covington Jr. High dropped their dual to Versailles. Winning for Covington were Caleb Ryman (92, pin), Kacyn Hall (98, pin), Rowan Isaac (104), Elijah Carnes (110, pin) and Zane Lemp (160, pin). Also wrestling well for the Buccs were Colt Williams, Kaden Thompson, Jack Blumenstock, Justin Hall, Mason Epperson, Chase Willis, AJ Garman, Ashtin Gardner and Forest Arthur.

Michael Hagan secures back points.