COVINGTON — The Covington Buccaneers wrestling team, led by coaching icon Tom Barbee, have become a perennial small-school power in Southwestern Ohio. 2017 marked the end of Coach Barbee’s fine career, but his successor need not worry, and the Bucc’s upcoming opponents should not expect any letup when facing Covington on the mat.
Four future Buccs traveled to Youngstown’s Covelli Arena on March 25th and 26th to compete at the Ohio Athletic Committee’s state championship tournament for schoolboy and junior high wrestlers.
The local contingent more than upheld the tradition and reputation that Covington has earned over the years.
Carter Neves, sixth grade son of Paul and Holly Neves, won his fourth OAC state title, scoring an 8-2 decision in the finals of the 100 pound class.
Kamden Hughes, a fifth grader, won his third state title, winning 8-1 in the final match at 90 pounds. He is the son of Bill and Kristin Roth.
Another fifth grader, Jericho Quinter, finished in fourth place in the 65 pound class. His parents are Rob and Rhonda Quinter.
Lastly, another fifth grader, Chase Vanderhorst, made it to the podium, placing fifth in the 80 pound class. He is the son of Eric and Wendy Vanderhorst.
The hard work and dedication of these young men was evident as they competed against the finest age group wrestlers Ohio has to offer, and their success bodes well for the future of Covington wrestling.
Of course these kind of results don’t happen by accident, and credit must be given to the parents and coaches who make it all possible. All of the fathers help coach the boys, and Mike DeHart, who has molded more than a few very successful wrestlers, made the trip to Youngstown to help make the weekend a success. Congratulations to all of the wrestlers, and all those who played a role in making it happen.