COVINGTON – Being inducted into the Covington Athletic Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor and three individuals, plus the 1986 wrestling team were blessed to experience that honor during the 40th annual induction ceremony on Friday at Covington High School. The three individual former athletes who were inducted were 2006 graduate Darin Rhoades, 2013 graduate Casey Yingst-Hernandez and 2015 graduate Ben Miller. All three compiled amazing careers at Covington and left legacies of greatness for future generations to follow. The 1986 wrestling team consisted of some of the best wrestlers in the history of the program and put together one of the best seasons in Buccaneer history.
DARIN RHOADES – CLASS OF 2006
Darin Rhoades is a 2006 Covington graduate who excelled in the sport of basketball under Hall of Fame coach Roger Craft. In his four years on the basketball court, Darin was a four-year starter and earned four varsity letters.
Throughout his career Darin received several prestigious honors; Special Mention All-Ohio in 2006, District 9 All Star in 2005 and 2006, First Team All Southwest District in 2006, First Team All-Conference in 2005 and 2006, and won the Dan Kendig Memorial 3-point Shooter Award all four years.
Darin finished his high school career fourth in Buccaneer history in points scored with 1125 and helped his team to a conference championship in 2006 as the Buccs compiled an 18-5 overall record.
After graduation Darin went to college at Edison State Community College where he received an Associate of Science Degree in 2008.
CASEY YINGST-HERNANDEZ – CLASS OF 2013
Casey Yingst-Hernandez, a 2013 Covington graduate, was a four-year letter winner in softball under coach Dean Denlinger and a four-year letter winner in cross country under coach Libby McMaken-Long for a combined 8 varsity letters in her high school athletic career.
In all four years of her cross country career, Casey earned all-league honors and academic all-conference as an individual. She was a member of some of the best cross country teams in school history as the Lady Buccs qualified for regionals all four years.
Casey made an even bigger impact on Covington athletics in the sport of softball where she was a key contributor of three state final four teams in 2011, 2012 and 2013. She is the only pitcher in school history to pitch in three state final four games. Casey earned “Player of the Year” in 2013, was selected to the Southwest District All-Star Team in 2013, was All-Ohio Underclassman Team in the Southwest District in 2012 and was selected First-Team All-Conference in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
After her stellar high school career Casey advanced to play softball at the University of Northwestern Ohio where she also majored in Business Administration. Under coach Tracy Coffman, Casey was an All Hoosier Wolverine Conference selection in 2014 and earned NAIA Academic All-American honors in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
BEN MILLER – CLASS OF 2015
Ben Miller, a 2015 graduate, earned a combined 5 state medals in two entirely different sports – 3 in track and 2 in wrestling. He lettered 4 times in track under coach Kyle Moore and in wrestling under coach Tom Barbee. He also earned a varsity letter in football in 2013 under Dave Miller and two varsity letters in cross country under coach Josh Long for a combined 11 varsity letters in his high school career.
In the 2014 state track meet, Ben placed 7th in the 110 meter hurdles in 2014 with a time of 15.13 and 8th in the 300 meter hurdles with a time of 40.41. He also competed in the 4×100 meter relay with Dalton Bordelon, A.J. Ouellette and Brandon Magee. In the 2015 state meet, Ben placed 7th as a member of the 4×100 meter relay team with Ethan Herron, Shane Straw and Brandon Magee. He also competed in the 300 meter hurdles.
His wrestling career was equally impressive as Ben placed 6th at state in 2014 in the 170 pound weight class with a 45-10 record and followed with a 6th place finish at state in 2015 in the 182 pound weight class by compiling a 52-7 record. He stamped his name all over the Covington record boards; 1st with the most pins in a season with 36 in 2015, 2nd in most career pins with 110, 3rd with most single season points with 289 in 2015, tied for 3rd in most wins in a season with 52 wins in 2015, tied for the 5th fastest pin (10 seconds), 6th with most career points with 929, 8th in most career wins with 171, and 10th in best career winning percentage – 81.8% with a 171-38 career record. Ben was also a two-time individual sectional champion in 2012 and 2015 and was a member of the sectional champions as a team in 2013 and 2014.
Throughout his high school career, Ben also competed in cross country for two years and in football his junior year – earning varsity letters each season. He was starter at linebacker and tight end on the 2013 football team that finished 11-1.
After graduating from Covington High School in 2015, Ben attended Ohio State University where he majored in Finance.
1986 WRESTLING TEAM
Coached by Tom Barbee and Jack Schwamberger, the 1986 wrestling team put together one of the most successful seasons in the history of the program. The Buccs finished first out of 16 teams to win a District Team Championship and had three individual district champions – Mike Hagan at 155 pounds, Scott Tayler at 175 pounds and Brian Olson at 185 pounds. The Buccs followed by finishing first out of 28 teams to win a Regional Team Championship and had two individual regional champions – Scott Tayler at 175 pounds and Brian Olson at 185 pounds.
Four wrestlers represented the Buccaneers at state that year – senior Mike Hagan (155 lbs.), junior Scott Tayler (175 lbs.), junior Brian Olson (185 lbs.) and sophomore Keith Musgrave (98 lbs.). Three more wrestlers who were on the 1985-86 team became state qualifiers in other seasons – Rodney Kimmel in 1985, Chris Nutter in 1987, and Randy Sowers in 1989.
On the season the Buccaneers posted a 15-5 record in dual meets and a 48-12 record in tournaments for an overall record of 63-17 for a 79% winning percentage.
The 1985-86 wrestling team consisted of coaches Tom Barbee and Jack Schwamberger and wrestlers Scott Tayler, Brian Olson, Mike Hagan, Keith Musgrave, Rodney Kimmel, Ray Kimmel, Rob Anspach, Ernie Elliot, Cory Smith, Steve Hogue, Randy Sowers, L.G. Henry, Doug Hartman, Tim Fitzpatrick, David White, Keith Ponchillia, Gary Kesler, Karsten Mueller, Art Sowers, Tony Iddings, Chris Colbert, Lee Yantis and Chris Nutter.