In what was a memorable weekend for Covington wrestling, seniors Trentin Alexander (170), Cael Vanderhorst (138) and Kellan Anderson (126), as well as freshman Michael Hagan (106) advanced to the state meet with top-four finishes at districts.
MARCH 5, 2021 – TROY
It was an up and down afternoon for the Covington Buccaneers during the first day of the DIII District Wrestling Tournament at Hobart Arena in Troy as four wrestlers advanced, while five wrestlers saw their season’s end.
Advancing into tomorrow’s championship semifinal round are freshman 106 pounder Michael Hagan and senior 138 pounder Cael Vanderhorst, while senior 126 pounder Kellan Anderson and senior 170 pounder Trentin Alexander advance into the consolation rounds.
Hagan was dominant in his first ever trip to the district tournament as he used up just 25 seconds of the clock to pin Pape Mbaye of North College Hill in his opening match.
The Buccaneer freshman then faced Miami East senior Olivia Shore, who is a trailblazer in the sport of girls wrestling as a two-time state champion. Shore is also the first female to ever win a match in the boys state tournament. In a tightly contested battle, Hagan was able to surge to an early lead and control the match with an impressive 8-5 victory.
Hagan (40-1) faces Lane Bergman (33-8) of Versailles in tomorrow’s championship semifinal. A win will secure a trip to the state tournament.
Cael Vanderhorst (47-0) was equally dominant at 138 pounds as he pinned Kaden Sarbough of Middletown Madison in 1:18 and then followed with a 1:45 pin of Ezekiel Burkholder of Lima Bath.
The Buccaneer senior, who placed at state as a freshman and a sophomore before having his opportunity at state glory taken away last year due to COVID, will face Pierce Taylor (21-1) of McNicholas in the championship semifinal with and opportunity to advance to state for the fourth straight year.
Kellan Anderson (33-4), like Vanderhorst, continued his quest to become a four-time state qualifier with a 35 second pin of Masson Klosterman of Coldwater in his opening bout. The Buccaneer senior then dropped a very tough 7-2 decision to Trey Allen (35-1) of Mechanicsburg in a match that was much closer than the final tally.
Not to be deterred, Anderson responded with a 40 second pin over Damian Moler of Brookville and will face Nathan Opichka (17-5) of Medeira in the consolation quarterfinals tomorrow.
Trentin Alexander (37-6) gutted out an impressive win over Kaden Langdon of Carlisle by sticking his opponent with just three seconds left in his open match of the tournament. He then fell to Nick Alvarez (31-4) of Legacy Christian in the championship quarterfinal round, but rebounded to pin Ben Logan’s Connor Witt in the consolation round.
Alexander will face a familiar foe in the consolation quarterfinal in Cael Gostomsky (29-6) of Arcanum.
Five Buccaneers saw their seasons come to an end on Friday – one of those being senior David Robinson.
Robinson, who finish fourth in the Covington sectional a week ago, opened the tournament against Rylan Hurst of Greeneview, the champion from the Madeira sectional. The Buccaneer senior shocked the Greeneview wrestler who entered the tournament with a sparkling 24-2 record, by controlling the match throughout en route to a 7-3 victory.
He then faced David Davis of Miami East, a returning state qualifier from a year ago at 132 pounds, and dropped into the consolation round with a defeat in 1:46.
Looking to rebound from his quarterfinal loss, Robinson was leading Columbus Grove’s Landen Schroder 3-0 late into the second period before getting caught with a reversal to the back and a pin with just one second left on the clock.
David Robinson closes out a very memorable senior season with a 28-13 record.
Also wrestling well despite seeing his season come to an end was freshman 113 pounder Carson Taylor, who actually tips the scale at 98 pounds.
Taylor opened the tournament with a defeat to Hunter Sidle of Allen East, but returned to the mat just 45 minutes later to pin David Vonderwich of Northeastern in 4:46. The Buccaneer freshman then fell to Gavin Caprella (25-3) of Lima Central Catholic to conclude his freshman campaign with a very impressive 34-5 record.
Junior Connor Sindelir performed very well in the 152-pound weight class, which is considered a meat grinder from top to bottom. He dropped his opening bout 12-8 in a back-and-forth match to Trenton Gatchell (32-11) of Allen East, but followed with a 3:55 pin of Gavin Palmer-Leach of Greeneview.
Unfortunately Sindelir ran into Deer Park’s Gabe Wilson (16-2), the champion of the Lima sectional, in his second consolation bout and dropped out of the tournament with a major decision defeat.
Sindelir ends his junior season with a 33-14 record and plenty of potential for an extended run at state next year as a senior.
Th heartbreaker for Covington came at 220 pounds as junior Rickey Stephan was wrestling extremely well in his opening match against Timothy Smith of North College Hill, the champion from the Madeira sectional. Unfortunately Stephan suffered an apparent serious injury to his foot – an injury that led to a loss by pin and forced him to default his consolation match. Stephan ended his junior campaign with a 15-12 record.
Lastly, junior 285 pounder Scott Blumenstock found himself facing the champion from the Madeira sectional in the opening round, which ended with a defeat via pin. Blumenstock then dropped his next match to Jake Thiel of Mechanicsburg to conclude his season with a 17-18 record.
Wrestling resumes tomorrow morning at 9:30am.
MARCH 6, 2021 – TROY
The Covington Buccaneers went four-for-four on Saturday in qualifying wrestlers to the state meet as seniors Trentin Alexander (170), Cael Vanderhorst (138) and Kellan Anderson (126) and freshman Michael Hagan (106) punched their tickets to the big stage.
Anderson and Vanderhorst join Andrew Dehart as the only three Buccaneers in school history to qualify for state all four years of high school while Alexander and Hagan make their first trips to state.
The success of the state qualifiers combined with the performance of the five other Buccaneers who competed at districts led to Covington finishing 9th out of 56 representing teams in the team standings with 84.5 points.
Hagan opened Saturday’s competition with a 12-0 major decision victory over Lane Bergman of Versailles.
Hagan was then trailing Eli Campbell of Legacy Christian late in the third period of the 106-pound title tilt when he connected on a lateral drop straight to the back in want appeared to be a five-point move. The Buccaneer wrestler was awarded the two takedown points, but no near fall points as his knee was ruled out of bounds.
The final ten seconds then ticked away with Hagan (41-2) on the short end of a 7-5 decision, but the Buccaneer freshman becomes just the fifth wrestler in school history to follow his father, Mike Hagan, as a state qualifier. Mike qualified for state in 1986 at 155 pounds. Michael also joins his brother Daniel Jennings as the eighth brother combination to become state qualifiers. Daniel qualified in 2013 and 2014.
Kellan Anderson (36-5) started the day in the consolation bracket at 126 pounds and opened with a 15-0 technical fall victory over Nathan Opichka of Madeira to set up a go-to-state match against Brayden Brown of Legacy Christian.
Anderson led 2-1 into the third period, but was tagged for a locking hands penalty and surrendered an escape point to give Brown a 3-2 lead with just over 30 seconds left in the match.
With time running out on a fourth straight state birth, Anderson powered his way through the Legacy Christian wrestler’s defense to record the winning takedown with just under ten seconds left in the match.
The Buccaneer senior then fell short in the consolation final by the slimmest of margins 2-1 to Troy Kennedy of Troy Christian to finish fourth. Still, Anderson is in position to earn his second state medal after placing sixth as a freshman.
Saturday started off rocky for Cael Vanderhorst as he dropped his first match of the season 3-0 to Pierce Taylor of McNicholas in the championship semifinals.
But the Buccaneer senior, now 49-1, secured his fourth straight trip to state with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Teagan Hendricks of Greeneview and closed out the tournament in style by pinning Kade Wireman of Allen East to finish third at 138 pounds.
Like Anderson, Vanderhorst makes his fourth straight trip to state with hopes of capturing his third state medal after finishing 8th in 2018 and 4th in 2019. He could have been going for his fourth state medal, something only accomplished by Andrew Dehart, if it wasn’t for the state tournament being cancelled a year ago.
Lastly, senior Trentin Alexander (39-7) battled through the blood rounds at 170 pounds by pinning Cael Gostomsky of Arcanum in 1:04 in the consolation semifinal.
This set up a rematch of last week’s sectional final as Alexander faced Kam Cox of Greenon in the go-to-state match. Last week Alexander dropped a narrow 11-10 decision to Cox, but this time around the Covington wrestler dominated en route to a convincing 8-2 victory.
With a trip to state secured, Alexander then faced Chase Martin of Delphos St. John (49-2) in the consolation final and was behind 6-2 until reversing Martin in the third period. Unfortunately Alexander ran out of time and dropped a close 6-4 decision.
Still, it was a great weekend for Buccaneer wrestling as four Covington wrestlers advance to the state tournament, which will be held next Saturday and Sunday at Marion Harding High School.