Levi Barga of Versailles records a pin over Covington at 132 pounds as the Tigers won a dual wrestling match with Covington.

Tigers and Buccs Put On A Show


COVINGTON – Small school wrestling in the local area is special considering the number of outstanding programs fielding quality teams with extremely talented wrestlers who have state potential – Covington, Miami East, Milton-Union, Troy Christian, Versailles, etc.

Two of those teams went head-to-head on Tuesday at Covington High School – Versailles against host Covington.

And what was on display by both teams would thrill wrestling enthusiasts – outstanding technique, aggression, toughness, and competitive desire.

Covington gave up 18 points by being forced to forfeit three matches due to injuries, but those in attendance witnessed two teams putting on a great show in the eleven matches wrestled.

In the end Covington won five matches and Versailles won six to hand the Buccaneers a 51-28 defeat.

The dual started at 132 pounds with Versailles going up 6-0 as Levi Barga pinned Covington’s backup wrestler at the weight, Kaden Thompson in 1:00.

The Tigers pushed their lead to 42-0 as Payton Paltfoot pinned Covington’s Jackson Shiverdecker in 3:51 at 138 pounds, Quinton Grilliot pinned Aveyen Meek at 144 pounds, Mike Osborn won via forfeit at 150 pounds, Kane Epperly pinned Connor Sindelir at 157 pounds, Carson Bey pinned Allen Garman at 165 pounds, and Caleb Kaiser won via forfeit at 175 pounds.

Covington got on the board at 190 pounds as senior Jensen Wagoner recorded a 15-3 major decision victory over Ethan Barker, but the Tigers responded with a 15-8 win at 215 pounds by Brayden Keihl over Hayden Barker in what was the most exciting match of the night.

Taran Tyo pushed the Tiger lead to 51-4 with a forfeit at heavyweight before the dual rotated to the lower weights where Covington held a significant advantage.

Carson Taylor got the Buccaneers rolling with a 2:39 pin of Trey Hiuber at 106 pounds and Jericho Quinter followed with a 1:02 pin of Lane Bergman at 113 pounds.

Returning state placer Michael Hagan recorded a 41 second pin of Cody Bergman at 120 pounds and Chase Vanderhorst closed out the dual for Covington with a 1:40 pin of Mike Reed at 126 pounds.

The 51-28 final score is no indication as to how competitive the dual was between these two well respected programs who will see each other in the near future with state qualification on the line.

MATCH-BY-MATCH RESULTS:106 – Carson Taylor (COV) pin Trey Huber (VER) 2:39113 – Jericho Quinter (COV) pin Lane Bergman (VER) 1:02120 – Michael Hagan (COV) pin Cody Bergman (VER) 0:41126 – Chase Vanderhorst (COV) pin Mike Reed (VER) 1:40132 – Levi Barga (VER) pin Kaden Thompson (COV) 1:00138 – Payton Platfoot (VER) pin Jackson Shiverdecker (COV) 3:51144 – Quinton Grilliot (VER) pin Aveyen Meek (COV) 4:45150 – Mike Osborn (VER) win via Forfeit157 – Kane Epperly (VER) pin Connor Sindelir (COV) 5:10165 – Carson Bey (VER) pin Allen Garman (VER) 0:42175 – Caleb Kaiser (VER) win via Forfeit190 – Jensen Wagoner (COV) Maj Dec 15-3 Ethan Stover (VER)215 – Brayden Keihl (VER) Dec 15-8 Hayden Barker (COV)285 – Taran Tyo (VER) win via Forfeit

Dale Barger / Sports Editor

Dale Barger is a lifelong sports enthusiast and has covered high school athletics for nearly 20 years in Southwest Ohio and now becomes sports editor for Darke County now. For 18 years Dale has been a sportswriter for The Daily Advocate and has been published in online sorts magazines and conference websites. Dale is also an accomplished photographer who has captured thousands of athletes in action over the years. Dale is a member of The Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association and was a 2019 recipient of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest District Media Service Award. Dale lives on a 72-acre farm outside of New Madison, Ohio and is married to Rita Ann (Fourman) Barger and together they have two sons and three grandkids. If you don’t see Dale at a sporting event you might catch him following his other passion – photographing nature and wildlife. Contact Darke County Now Editor Media Sports Editor Dale Barger at dbarger@darkecountynow.com.

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