Saturday, March 4, 2017
In what is the final season of longtime - and legendary - Buccaneer wrestling coach Tom Barbee, the tradition of sending wrestlers to the state tournament continues with senior 160 pounder Lance Miller, who claimed a district championship on Saturday with a dominating 16-3 major decision victory over Seth Henderson of Miami Valley Christian Academy.
But what made Miller's accomplishment that much sweeter was the fact that it came on a night where the Southwest District recognized Coach Barbee for his 444 career dual wins, which ranks third in the history of high school wrestling in the state of Ohio.
Plus, Miller has an opportunity next weekend to become the school's 11th state placer - all coached by Tom Barbee.
And Miller put himself in excellent position to do just that as he followed up a dominating first night at the district meet with an equally dominating second day by recording a 14-2 major decision win over Jesse Mitchell of Southeastern in the semifinals and then a 16-3 victory in his district championship match.
In all, Miller recorded two pins and two major decisions at districts and heads into the state tournament with plenty of momentum and knowing he is peaking at the right time.
Unfortunately, the Buccaneers couldn't qualify any of the four other wrestlers to state - wrestlers who made it to day two of a very tough district tournament.
Dolan Young (106) won his second consolation round match via 3:41 pin of Brayden Esposito of East Clinton, but dropped a heartbreaking 2-0 decision to Cael Bey of Versailles in the third consolation round.
Riley Richards (126) suffered a similar fate as he dropped a narrow 2-1 decision to Justin Sigler of Coldwater in the consolation rounds.
Keringten Martin (138) advanced through the consolation rounds with a 7-1 win over Jasper Scarberry of Ottawa-Glandorf and a 5-3 win over Jordan Hinegardner of Lima Central Catholic to put himself one match away from qualifying for state. Unfortunately, he ran into returning state qualifier Zane Strubler of Miami East and came up short in his qualifying match.
Still, Martin had an opportunity to become a state alternate, but came up short once again in a very close 3-1 decision to Wyatt Place of Delphos Jefferson.
Deron White (152) advanced to the second day of the tournament and opened with an impressive 1:48 pin of Noah Morgan of East Clinton. Unfortunately, White dropped the third consolation round match to Wyatt Lefker of Williamsburg to end his career with 103 career wins.
Still, it was yet another historic weekend for Covington wrestling as Lance Miller will represent the storied tradition of Buccaneer wrestling at the state wrestling meet next week.
And in his corner for the final weekend will be a Covington legend - Tom Barbee.