By Rob Kiser
COVINGTON — There may be more new faces in the Covington wrestling lineup than coach Tom Barbee might have expected this season.
But, Barbee is doing what he always — coaching them to the highest level.
And that showed in the Bucc’s double-dual Thursday night at Covington High School.
After a tough 42-30 loss to Coldwater, Covington bounced back with a 60-17 win over Lima Bath, which included seven pins.
“We only lost two seniors off last year’s team,” Barbee said. “But, we have three or four other guys who have left the program. So, we have some young guys. We have some guys that don’t have a lot of experience.”
Against Bath, Covington started the match with four pins, with two coming in the first period.
Kyle Barge (120) started things with a pin in 2:52, before Riley Richards (126) recorded a pin in 1:37.
Austin Flick (132) followed with a pin in 1:56 and Kerringten Martin (138) added a pin in 3:55.
Also recording pins for Covington were Deron White (152) in 1:36, Lance Miller (160) in 2:43 and Dolan Young (106) in 2:37 to conclude the match.
“We are getting better,” Barbee said. “One of the reasons is we have been working hard. What is changed we are more focused on what we need to do out there, instead of getting hung up on one or two things. The kids are doing a good job.”
Against Coldwater, half of Covington’s six wins were by forfeit.
Young (106), Flick (132) and Kerringten (138) all won by forfeit.
Richards (126) and McReynolds (195) both won decisions.
Richards was thriller of the night. He was tied 5-5 before getting a takedown with less than two seconds remaining in the match.
“That kid (from Coldwater) had beaten us twice at the Troy Invitational,” Barbee said. “So, that was a big win for us. That was great to see.”
McReynolds won a 4-1 decision.
“Gavin (McReynolds) is giving away a lot of weight,” Barbee said. “He should probably be wrestling 170. He is making the sacrifice and doing whatever he can to help the team out.”
Miller (160) got the first of two pins against Coldwater, in 2:28.
“Lance (Miller) is Lance,” Barbee said. “He has been putting some extra work in and it shows. That is what he needs to do if he wants to get on the podium at Columubs (at the state meet) — and that is the goal.”
The Buccs will go to a tournament at Miami Trace this weekend — which was added to the scheduled because of the Versailles dual tournament that was postponed.
‘Then we go to Mechanicsburg for the state team duals,” Barbee said. “We face North Union in the first round. I don’t know anything about them.”
But, like always, he will put Covington in a position to succeed.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.