Chase Vanderhorst executes a takedown on his way to a runner-up finish at 132 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

The Covington Buccaneers are a relatively young wrestling team and have faced some unfortunate circumstances early in the season with illness and injuries. Due to the adverse situations, only five Buccaneers were able to compete in the annual Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association Holiday Tournament at Vandalia High School.

And those five wrestlers put together amazing performances as four wrestlers placed in the prestigious tournament and the fifth Buccaneer wrestlers put together a great performance even though coming up just short of placement. It all led to 104.5 team points accumulated, good for 8th in the small school division and 11th overall.

Leading the way for the Buccaneers were Carson Taylor and Chase Vanderhorst, both finishing runner-up in their respective weight classes.

Taylor advanced to the championship match at 106 pounds with a 10-5 victory over Jake Landis of Graham and then fell in the finals to Ren Birk of Great Crossing.

Vanderhorst reached the finals at 132 pounds with a 5-2 victory over Parker Lee of Vandalia Butler and dropped his championship match to Graham’s Brogan Tucker.

Michael Hagan finished fifth at 120 pounds after dropping his semifinal match to T.J. Meyer of Walton-Verona and a consolation semifinal match to Noah Moreland of Vandalia Butler. Hagan defeated Evan Boulton of Springboro in his final bout of the tournament.

Jericho Quinter placed sixth at 126 pounds as he fell to Colt Ryan of Graham in the championship semifinal round and then lost a close 4-2 decision to Rowdy Banner of Great Crossing in the consolation semifinal. Quinter came up short of taking fifth as he dropped his final match to Zane Pickerrell of Zane Trace.

In the first day of the tournament on Tuesday the Buccs won 17 of 19 matches. Of the 17 victories, 15 came via pin, one on a technical fall and one on a major decision as four of the five Buccaneers advanced to the second day of the tournament in the championship semifinal.

At 106 pounds, Carson Taylor went 3-0 with three straight pins over Layton Combs of Vandalia Bulter, Rocco Mauro of Kettering Alter and Taven Norris of Legacy Christian.

Michael Hagen went 4-0 with four consecutive pins at 120 pounds. He pinned Zach Swearingen of Tecumseh in 28 seconds, Jake Lauck of West Liberty-Salem in 40 seconds, Nathaniel Richey of Big Walnut in 30 seconds and Lucas Abner of Eaton in 40 seconds.

Jericho Quinter advanced to the semifinal round with three straight victories at 126 pounds. He opened with a 1:03 pin of Keelan Viney of Springfield and followed with a 17-0 technical fall victory over Nolan Fox of Troy. He then won his quarterfinal match via 2:24 pin of Dillon Wiley of Waynesville.

At 132 pounds, Chase Vanderhorst won all four of his matches on Tuesday with three wins coming via pin and the other a 12-0 major decision. He pinned Evan Wilber of Bid. River Valley in 1:13, Brennan Wilson of Northmont in 2:37 and Oliver Murry of Tippecanoe in 1:06. Vanderhorst advanced to the semifinal with a 12-0 major decision victory.

Freshman Caleb Ryman had a very strong showing despite wrestling three weight classes above his targeted weight entering the season. Ryman opened with a 2:47 pin of Alex Mackeller of Tri-County North, but dropped his second match to Bellbrook senior Nick Devol. Ryman rebounded in the consolation rounds with consecutive pins over Matt Nye of Catholic Central in 2:18 and Brookville’s Alex Richardson in 1:11. The Buccaneer freshman came up just short of advancing into the second day off the tournament with a narrow 3-2 loss to Tucker Campbell of Franklin.

Carson Taylor (Covington) pin Layton Combs (Butler) 1:37
Carson Taylor (Covington) pin Rocco Mauro (Alter) 3:40
Carson Taylor (Covington) pin Taven Norris (Legacy Christian) 1:42
Carson Taylor (Covington) dec. Jake Landis (Graham Local) 10-5
Ren Birk (Great Crossing) maj. dec. Carson Taylor (Covington) md9-0

Michael Hagan (Covington) pin Zach Swearingen (Tecumseh) 0:28
Michael Hagan (Covington) pin Jake Lauck (W. Liberty-Salem) 0:40
Michael Hagan (Covington) pin Nathaniel Richey (Big Walnut) 0:30
Michael Hagan (Covington) pin Lucas Abner (Eaton) 0:49
T.J. Meyer (Walton-Verona) pin Michael Hagan (Covington) 3:32
Noah Moreland (Butler) dec. Michael Hagan (Covington) 2-0
Michael Hagan (Covington) dec. Evan Boulton (Springboro) 3-1

Jericho Quinter (Covington) pin Keelan Viney (Springfield) 1:03
Jericho Quinter (Covington) tech. fall Nolan Fox (Troy) tf17-0
Jericho Quinter (Covington) pin Dillon Wiley (Waynesville) 2:24
Colt Ryan (Graham Local) pin Jericho Quinter (Covington) 5:34
Rowdy Benner (Great Crossing) dec. Jericho Quinter (Covington) 4-2
Zane Pickerrell (Zane Trace) dec. Jericho Quinter (Covington) 7-2

Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) pin Evan Wilbur (Bid. River Valley) 1:13
Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) pin Brennan Wilson (Northmont) 2:37
Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) pin Oliver Murry (Tippecanoe) 1:06
Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) maj. dec. Adam Stephens (Franklin) 12-0
Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) dec. Parker Lee (Butler) 5-2
Brogan Tucker (Graham Local) tech. fall Chase Vanderhorst (Covington) tf17-2

Caleb Ryman (Covington) pin Alex Mackellar (Tri-County North) 2:47
Nick Devol (Bellbrook) dec. Caleb Ryman (Covington) 9-2
Caleb Ryman (Covington) pin Matt Nye (Catholic Central) 2:18
Caleb Ryman (Covington) pin Alex Richardson (Brookville) 1:11
Tucker Campbell (Franklin) dec. Caleb Ryman (Covington) 3-2

Carson Taylor finished second at 106 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Michael Hagan took fifth at 120 pounds. Photo by David Robinson
Jericho Quinter finished sixth at 126 pounds. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Covington freshman Caleb Ryman had a strong showing in the GMVWA Holiday Tournament despite wrestling above his natural weight. (Photo by David Robinson)