The Buccaneer seniors (L-R) Jericho Quinter, Carson Taylor, Chase Vanderhorst, Kamden Hughes and Michael Hagan were honored on Senior Night with their parents on Thursday. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo

COVINGTON – It was a memorable but bittersweet evening for the Buccs during their Senior night dual against Piqua. Covington was able to recognize their five senior wrestlers, but unfortunately only three were able to compete on an evening when the Buccs also honored former wrestler Chris Nutter, a 1987 state qualifier, who recently passed away. (View the full tribute to Chris Nutter).

As a highlight, all three competing seniors won by pin in their final home dual.

Covington’s class of 2024 seniors – Michael Hagan, Kamden Hughes, Jericho Quinter, Carson Taylor and Chase Vanderhorst – are already the most successful class of wrestlers in the 52 seasons that Covington has competed in wrestling, with one more season to complete.

The group includes 3 state placers in Hagan, Quinter and Vanderhorst, another state qualifier in Taylor and a fifth wrestler, former youth state champion Kamden Hughes who would have joined his teammates at the OHSAA state championships if not for a tragic car accident that ended his competitive wrestling career, but from which he has shown incredible bravery in battling back through physical rehabilitation to make incredible progress each year.

The night was filled with exciting wrestling matches, with the Buccs dropping their dual to the Indians, 43-36, in an entertaining dual that featured multiple lead changes. Piqua’s Avery Wiley (106) picked up a pin over Eddie Deaton, before Covington answered with a pin by senior Carson Taylor (113) over Kaesen Hughes.

The matches continued to go back-and-forth as Piqua’s Logan Wells (120) pinned Henry Skaggs, before Covington senior Jericho Quinter (126) earned a pin over Seth Holt. Piqua’s Nikolai Kaye (132) then pinned Andrew Basye, before Covington senior Michael Hagan (138) pinned Alex Holt.

Covington then took a 24-18 lead, when Caleb Ryman (144) pinned Evan Hewitt, but Piqua rebounded to narrow the score 24-21, as Jackson Lambert (150) earned a 13-8 decision over Diego Lopez. Piqua then took a 25-24 lead with a 12-4 decision by Gavin Nelson (157) over Jack Blumenstock.

Covington once again regained the lead as Aveyen Meek (165) pinned Elijah Watkins. The Buccs were able to extend their lead to 36-25, with a Mason Epperson pin over Destined Drewberry. Piqua would then earn pins by Landen Martin (190) and Hayden Barker (215) over A.J. Garman and A.J. Reyes, to take a one-point lead, 37-36, heading into the final bout. Piqua then won the dual with a victory by forfeit at 285 lbs. by Parker James.

In Jr. High action, Piqua defeated Covington, 51-33. Winning for Covington were Brody Taylor (92 pin), Isaiah Mumford (110, pin), Weston Roth (116, pin), Sam Godin (122), Cooper Turner (128) and Jake Basye (142, pin).

Winning for Piqua were Nolan Butler (86, pin), Brayden Hall (98, Wyatt Allen (128, pin), Hunter Grisson (134, pin), Jeremiah Taylor (150, pin), William Ahrens (172, pin) and Dominic Allen (205, pin).

Chris Nutter’s family was on hand as the Covington wrestling program honored Chris prior to the Buccaneers’ dual against Piqua. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Senior Jericho Quinter gets in deep of a double leg for a takedown.©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Senior Carson Taylor locks up a pinning combination against Piqua. ©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo
Senior Michael Hagan lifts his opponent on his way to recording a takedown.©Ben Robinson/Color Green Photo