BUCCANEER STATE PLACERS
The Covington wrestling program has established a tradition of success at the state level where wrestlers are having success at the state meet. The program started in 1973 and it took just five seasons for a Buccaneer wrestler to qualify for state – Randy Kimmel in 1978.
Five years later Craig Vanderhorst and Jason Kingrey became the first Buccaneer wrestlers to place at state as Vanderhorst finished 3rd at 138 pounds and Kingrey finished 4th at 167 pounds. Vanderhorst placed again at state in 1984 by finishing 3rd at 145 pounds.
Logan Brown qualified for state in 2004 and made a repeat trip to state in 2005 as a junior after accumulating a 46-0 record and a district title at 189 lbs. Brown then became the first state placer in 21 years after capturing third at state and finishing with a school-best 50-1 record at the time.
Brown then became the first wrestler in history to go to state for a third time in 2006. That year he became the first Covington wrestler to win a state title with a 9-2 win over Jeremy Stevens of Ashland Crestview in the finals. Logan also finished unbeaten at 52-0 under the guidance of coach Tom Barbee. Along the way to a state title brown defeated Cris Gault from Anderson Pymatuning Valley by pin in 2:47; Brock Kirian of Sycamore Mohawk by a 5-2 decision; Brad Rice of West Jefferson by a 13-6 decision and Jeremy Stevens of Ashland Crestview by a 9-2 decision. No wrestler in the 2006 state tournament scored an offensive point on Logan Brown.
In 2008 the Covington Buccaneers saw freshman Andrew DeHart become the youngest state qualifier and state placer in school history as he took sixth at 130 pounds. DeHart followed that performance by becoming just the third two-time state placer with a fourth place finish at 145 pounds as a sophomore in 2009. He then took second at 145 pounds in 2010 to become Covington’s first three-time state placer.
DeHart once again qualified for state in 2011 and captured a third place medal at 145 pounds to become the school’s first four-time state placer. He was joined on the podium by sophomore Kyler Deeter, who became just the fifth Covington wrestler to place at state by taking fourth at 130 pounds.
In 2012 Covington sent two wrestlers to the state meet in 182 pounder Brian Olson and 138 pounder Kyler Deeter. Deeter became the 15th Covington wrestler to become a two-time state qualifier, while Olson joined his father, Brian Olson Sr. as the first father-son combination to become state qualifiers. Olson also became the sixth state placer in school history by taking sixth in his weight class.
2013 saw A.J. Ouellette (182 lbs). place fourth to become the seventh state placer in Covington history.
2014 four wrestlers placed with Jarred Ganger becoming the second Covington wrestler to win a state title. A.J. Ouellette became a two-time state placer by taking fifth, while Ryan Ford took 3rd at 132 pounds and Ben Miller placed 6th at 170 pounds.
In 2015, the tradition of state success by Covington wrestlers continued as three Buccaneer wrestlers placed at state. Jarred Ganger won his second straight state championship as a Buccaneer, third state championship overall and fourth state medal. Ryan Ford won his second straight state medal by finishing third for the second year in a row and Ben Miller placed sixth for the second consecutive season.
With Ganger and Miller graduating, Ryan Ford carried on the tradition in 2016 as he finished fourth at 138 pounds to conclude his career with 201 wins and become just the second Covington wrestler to place three times at the state meet (Andrew Dehart).
In 2017, Lance Miller was the lone Buccaneer to qualify for the state meet after winning sectional and district championships at 160 pounds. He followed that up by finishing runner-up at state, becoming the fourth Buccaneer wrestler to reach the state finals.
Covington enjoyed more success in 2018 by having two state placers – Kellan Anderson (106) and Cael Vanderhorst (113). Anderson placed 6th and Vanderhorst placed 8th to become the 12th and 13th state placers and joined Andrew Dehart as the only freshmen wrestlers to place at state.
Cael Vanderhorst (113) and Keringten Martin (152) earned state medals in 2019 as Martin placed 3rd at 152 pounds and Vanderhorst took 4th at 113 pounds.
In 2020, 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 of Vanderhorst to become just the third Buccaneer wrestler to place at state for the third consecutive year.
Wrestling resumed in 2021 under “social distancing restrictions”, but Covington was able to produce three state places the state meet – seniors Kellan Anderson (126 lbs.), Cael Vanderhorst (138 lbs.), and freshman Michael Hagan (106 lbs.). Vanderhorst and Anderson became just the second and third wrestlers in Covington history to qualify for state in all four years of high school – joining Andrew Dehart. Plus, Cael Vanderhorst finished 4th at 138 pounds to become just the third Buccaneer wrestler to place three times at state, while Kallen Anderson placed 8th at 126 pounds to become just the ninth wrestler to place twice in a career. Michael Hagan became the fourth wrestler to place at state as a freshman as he finished 8th at 126 pounds.
In 2022 the Buccaneers had two state placers in sophomore Chase Vanderhorst and Jericho Quinter Vanderhorst placed fifth at 126 pounds and Jericho Quinter finished sixth at 113 pounds. Vanderhorst followed with another fifth place finish at state in 2023, this time at 132 pounds, to become the tenth wrestler in Covington history to become a two-time state placer. Michael Hagan (120 lbs.) and Caleb Ryman (138 lbs.) also qualified for state in 2023 – Hagan becoming the sixth wrestler in Covington history to become a three-time state qualifier.