BUCCANEER DISTRICT CHAMPIONS
The Covington Buccaneers wrestling teams have had great success at district tournaments through the years. Success at this tournament qualifies wrestlers for the state tournament and along the way, 15 wrestlers and two teams have wrestled their way to district gold.
Randy Kimmel became the first district champion in 1978 and duplicated that accomplishment in 1979. Kimmel also became the first Covington wrestler to wrestle at state in ’78 and ’79.
Kirk Tisdale won the district championship in 1980 at 145 lbs. In 1982, the Buccs had two wrestlers earn district titles for the first time. Brad Hall (98 lbs.) and Don Emenegger (132 lbs.) captured titles. Hall was also the lone district champion in 1983 at 105 lbs.
1983 saw the beginning of the Jason Kingrey and Craig Vanderhorst runs. Kingrey and Vanderhorst won back-to back titles in 1983 and ’84.
In 1986, Mike Hagan won the 155 lb. weight class while Scott Tayler won at 175 lbs. in ’86 and ’87. Brian Olson also won a title in 1987 at 185 lbs.
In the next ten years only one Covington wrestler captured a district championship. In 1992 Eric Vanderhorst won the 189 lb. class. In 1997 Noah Turner added his name to the championship list with a title at 152 lbs.
Brandon Owens started off the new millennium with a district title in 2000. Owens won the 171 lb. class and earned a trip to state.
Mike Stephan won back-to-back titles in 2001 and 2002 in the 171 lb. weight class, while another two-time district champions was Logan Brown in 2005 and 2006 who went on to place third at the state meet in 2005 and became a state champion in 2006.
In 2010 Andrew DeHart became a district champion, which propelled him into a history making performance at state as he became Covington’s first three-time state placer by taking runner-up at 145 pounds.
DeHart would then win his second straight district title in 2011 and once again place at state – a third place finish – to become the school’s first four-time state placer.
In 2014 the Buccaneers had a school record three district champions in Jarred Ganger (126 pounds), Ryan Ford (132 pounds) and A.J. Ouellette (195 pounds). The Buccaneers sent a record number of 13 wrestlers to the district tournament and took second as a team. Five wrestlers qualified for state, which was another program record.
The following year, in 2015, Covington had two district champions in Jarred Ganger (132) and Ryan Ford (138) and sent four wrestlers to the state meet.
Lance Miller became a district champion in 2017 after winning a sectional title. He also placed 2nd at the state meet at 160 pounds.
In 2019 the Buccaneers had two district champs with Kellan Anderson winning at 106 pounds and Keringten Martin claiming his title at 152 pounds.
Covington didn’t have a district champion in 2020, but Cael Vanderhost (120 lbs.) and Kellan Anderson (126 lbs.) both qualified for state for the third consecutive year and were projected to place in their respective weight classes. Unfortunately, just days before the state tournament was set to begin, the state of Ohio cancelled the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic – taking away the opportunity for Vanderhorst to become just the third Buccaneer wrestler to place at state for the third consecutive year.
The Buccaneers failed to have an individual district champion once again in 2021, but still qualified four wrestlers to the state tournament – seniors Kellan Anderson (126 lbs.), Cael Vanderhorst (138 lbs.), Trentin Alexander (170 lbs.) and freshman Michael Hagan (160 lbs.).
In 2022 sophomore Chase Vanderhorst came close to a district title, but finished runner-up at 126 pounds. Jericho Quinter (113) and Michael Hagan(120) finished third, while Carson Taylor (106) and Scott Blumenstock both finished fourth to qualify five wrestlers to state – tying a school record.
Chase Vanderhorst came close to a district title once again in 2023, but finished runner-up at 132 pounds. Michael Hagan finished third at 120 pounds and freshman Caleb Ryman took fourth at 138 pounds as all three wrestlers advanced to the state tournament.
Only two Covington teams in history won the team district championship. The 1983 and 1986 teams may have been the best wrestling teams in school history.
INDIVIDUAL DISTRICT CHAMPIONS