COVINGTON — Covington is coming off another spectacular season which included a second consecutive top-six finish at state and the second-best overall team record in 43 seasons of wrestling (190-14).
The Buccaneers continued their streak of 20-plus dual wins to seven consecutive years, finishing with a 27-3 record, and advancing to the dual meet regional finals.
Covington claimed its 13th straight unofficial Cross-County Conference title and their highest finish at the 55-team Greater Miami Valley Wrestling Association tournament, taking runner-up to perennial power Graham.
The team earned its third consecutive top-five finish out of 54 teams at districts — qualifying four wrestlers to state in Jarred Ganger, Ryan Ford, Ben Miller and Lance Miller — Covington’s second highest total ever.
At state, Ryan Ford took third and Ben Miller finished sixth to become Covington’s sixth and seventh two-time state placers, while Jarred Ganger became just the 59th wrestler in Ohio history to win three state titles, leading the Buccs to a sixth-place team finish. The Buccs have had at least one state placer in ten of the past eleven seasons.
The Buccs lost two outstanding wrestlers to graduation in three-time state champion Jarred Ganger and two-time state placer Ben Miller, but return a number of talented wrestlers including two state qualifiers, seven additional district qualifiers, plus other returning lettermen.
Covington will be led by seniors Ryan Ford, Brandon Magee, Coleman Ryan and Connor Ryan. Ford is a two-time state placer who recently earned a Division 1 scholarship to Cleveland State, Connor Ryan is a former state alternate, and Magee and Coleman Ryan are former district qualifiers.
The junior class includes Ross Bowman, Luke Grieshop, Carl Lankford, Lance Miller, Branden Robinson, Josh Sowers, Seth Thomas and Deron White. Miller is a returning state qualifier while Sowers and White are returning district qualifiers.
The sophomore class includes district qualifiers Gage DeHart and Jared Ford, plus Bryce Keiser, Alexis Roth, Joey Schmelzer and Dylan Swob. Rounding out the roster are freshmen Parker Dysinger, Keringten Martin, Gavin McReynolds, Riley Richards, Chris Triplett, Ian Wilson and Dolan Young.
Covington looks forward to competing with the mix of Division I, II and III teams that are on their schedule.
The Buccs return to two prestigious mega-tournaments: the 52-team GMVWA Holiday tournament and the 38-team Lima Central Catholic (LCC) Invitational. They will also compete in the Northeastern, Versailles and Troy Invitationals. Covington will once again square off with some of the top dual-meet teams in the western part of the state, including Mechanicsburg, Coldwater, Eaton and Versailles. Additionally, the JV team will travel to some very competitive reserve meets including Versailles, Ben Logan, Sidney, Vandalia-Butler and Mechanicsburg.
Covington has one home dual and will once again host the Covington Duals tournamen, which includes their Cross County Conference rivals, along with Lehman. The Buccs will compete again in the OHSAA team dual meet tournament and then travel to Lehman for the Division III sectional tournament, whose participants have proven to be among the most successful among all divisions in Ohio at the state tournament over the past several years.