New format for the State Duals this season. In the predictions that you see below, please understand that they are based on limited information that I have been able to find this season, along with individual results posted by these wrestlers last season. Please to not feel slighted if you feel like they are way off, I encourage you to go out there and prove these predictions wrong. The whole purpose of this preview is to generate interest in the upcoming events.
Teams: Houston Co, Lee Co, Northside Warner Robins, Valdosta
Hosted by Valdosta
4 teams for 4 spots, and there are definitely 2 tiers here, with Lee and Valdosta squaring off for 1st, and Houston and NSWR wrestling for 3rd. I have gone back and forth on with my thoughts on the Valdosta vs Lee Co match, and regardless the outcome, it should be a dual that is full of some very good individual matches. In the end, I just think that Valdosta has too much from top to bottom for Lee Co to overcome.
2. Lee Co
3. Northside, Warner Robins
4. Houston Co
Teams: Bradwell Institute, Brunswick, Effingham Co, Glynn Academy, Richmond Hill, South Effingham, Statesboro
Hosted by South Effingham
I'm not sure that Bradwell has a team, but they are listed on the GHSA website so I'll include them, either way they wont be competing this weekend. Like Region 1, there are distinct tiers in this Region. Brunswick and Richmond Hill both have over 10 ranked wrestlers, and they should meet in the finals. A notch behind those two would be the Effingham teams, who are also pretty evenly matched, and then after those two would be Glynn Academy and Statesboro.
In order for Brunswick to pull off a major upset, they are going to have to get an upset somewhere in the back half of the lineup, and if Richmond Hill has all of their pieces available that will be a tough task for the the Pirates to pull off. In a classification full of tremendous duals, this one right here may be the most intriguing to me. I think South Effingham will be able to use the strength of the upper weights to pull out a win against Effingham. Both of these duals will be close and if a team is missing one of their main pieces, things could go drastically different.
1. Richmond Hill
3. South Effingham
4. Effingham Co
5. Glynn Academy
Teams: Alcovy, Evans, Grovetown, Heritage Conyers, Lakeside Evans, Rockdale.
Hosted by Heritage, Conyers
The top 4 teams a very evenly matched in this Region, and while i feel like Heritage is the frontrunner, they have enough chinks in their armor for someone to exploit. While Alcovy and Grovetown both have a few very good wrestlers, neither of those teams will be able to match up with the top 4 teams.
I am very interested to see how Rockdale Co does after having dropped down from 7A. They have 3 known factors in Ponce, Hardaway, and Walley, and with the emergence of Hawkins at 285, they have a solid core, but I am not sure it will be enough to match what Heritage brings into a match. Evans also has a few nice pieces, but they don't have enough depth from top to bottom to make a serious run at a Region Title.
1. Heritage, Conyers
2. Rockdale Co
4. Lakeside, Evans
Teams: Hughes, Lakeside Dekalb, Lovejoy, Morrow, North Atlanta, Tucker, Westlake
Hosted by North Atlanta
Only North Atlanta has more than half a lineup, so I am not sure what will happen here. Will there just be 1 team that comes out of this region, or will the send teams like Lovejoy and Morrow to the State Quad with 6 and 5 wrestlers respectively?
1. North Atlanta
5. Lakeside, Dekalb
Region 1 Champion Quad: @ Valdosta
1-1 Valdosta vs 4-4 Morrow?
2-3 South Effingham vs 3-2 Rockdale Co
Region 2 Champion Quad: @ Richmond Hill
2-1 Richmond Hill vs 3-4 Lakeside, Evans
1-3 Houston Co vs 4-2 Westlake
Region 3 Champion Quad: @ Heritage, Conyers
3-1 Heritage Conyers vs 2-4 Effingham Co
4-3 Lovejoy vs 1-2 Lee Co
Region 4 Champion Quad: @ North Atlanta
4-1 North Atlanta vs 1-4 Northside, Warner Robins
3-3 Evans vs 2-2 Brunswick
Teams: Alexander, Carrollton, Dalton, Douglas Co, East Paulding, Paulding Co, Rome, South Paulding
Hosted by Carrollton
Douglas Co and Rome will have a lot of forfeits in their lineup, making it difficult to compete in Duals format. East Paulding and Dalton will have close to full lineups, and they both have some really tough wrestlers, but the rest of their lineups are young and inexperienced. That leaves Alexander, Carrollton, Paulding Co, and South Paulding as the 4 teams that will come out of this region.
Carrolton has a couple of very talented wrestlers in the upperweights, but the rest of their lineup hasn't proven itself as of yet. Paulding Co has 4 ranked wrestlers right through the middle of their lineup, and they should be able to get some favorable match ups. This years version of the Alexander/S. Paulding war might not be as close as some of the more recent renditions. Alexander is once again absolutely loaded from top to bottom, and they have put themselves in position to make a decent run at a State Duals title.
2. South Paulding
3. Paulding Co
Teams: Allatoona, Kell, Kennesaw Mountain, Lassiter, Osborne, Pope, South Cobb, Sprayberry, Wheeler
Hosted by Pope
Osborne, South Cobb, Sprayberry, and Wheeler come in to the Duals season with lineups that have multiple holes in them. That leaves 5 teams competing for 4 spots. Pope and Lassiter have shown that they are on a different level than the rest. I am interested to see how Kennesaw will matchup with Allatoona and Kell.
Lassiter has an absolutely loaded lineup for duals, they are full and they have flexibility to get the matchups they desire, and with elite level talent like Panone and Weston, they have stoppers in the middle of their lineup that makes it difficult for other teams to navigate around. Pope lost a lot to graduation from last seasons State Duals Championship, but they have enough pieces to knock off a lot of teams.
5. Kennesaw Mountain
Teams: Cambridge, Centennial, Chattahoochee, Creekview, Johns Creek, River Ridge, Riverwood, Sequoyah
Hosted by Cambridge
All 8 of these teams will have lineups that are either full, or close to full. Johns Creek and Centennial come in without any ranked wrestlers, while River Ridge and RIverwood have 2 each. Cambridge, Creekview, and Sequoyah are all absolutely loaded. This is one of the toughest regions in the entire state, especially from a duals standpoint.
Creekview and Sequoyah have wrestled this season, however i did not get a result for that match. Creekview's lineup has really been all over the place this year, as they have had several of their top end wrestlers at the same weight. They will be extremely tough once they get everyone spread out where they need to be, which I am assuming will be this weekend. Cambridge has 7 guys ranked in the top 5 between 132 and 182, and in 2nd ranked McHugh at 220 and their lineup is daunting. Most of Sequoyah's lineup is ranked, but they just don't have the top end ranked guys that we see at Creekview and Cambridge.
5. Johns Creek
Teams: Buford, Central Gwinnett, Dacula, Habersham Central, Lanier, Shiloh, Winder-Barrow
Hosted by Habersham Central
Shiloh has not assessed any wrestlers, and Central Gwinnett will have a lineup that is about half full. Buford is the clear cut favorite in this region, so that leaves Dacula, Habersham, Lanier and Winder to battle for the final 3 spots.
Buford's lineup has come along quite nicely and they have their guys spread out well. They will be one of the top contenders for a State Title in both Duals and Traditional. Lanier had a very impressive showing at the Gwinnett Co tournament, and they should be able to push through to face Buford in the Region Duals finals. Habersham is always a very tough and scrappy team, and they will bring 5 ranked wrestlers into the weekend. Whichever team can be the most full between Dacula and Winder will have quite an advantage when it comes to grabbing that last spot.
3. Habersham Central
Region 5 Champion Quad: @ Alexander
5-1 Alexander vs 8-4 Winder-Barrow
6-3 Allatoona vs 7-2 Creekview
Region 6 Champion Quad: @ Lassiter
6-1 Lassiter vs 7-4 Chattahoochee
5-3 Paulding Co vs 8-2 Lanier
Region 7 Champion Quad: @ Cambridge
7-1 Cambridge vs 6-4 Kell
8-3 Habersham Central vs 5-2 South Paulding
Region 8 Champion Quad: @ Buford
8-1 Buford vs 5-4 Carrollton
7-3 Sequoyah vs 6-2 Pope
2-1 Richmond Hill
1-2 Lee Co