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State Duals Prelims Preview and Predictions 1A-3A

By Georgia Grappler, 01/13/22, 11:15AM AKST


Big Weekend ahead


Schley Co vs Dublin 
Darlington at Landmark Christian

Darlington will not fill enough weight classes to win a dual against a team like Landmark, so look for the War Eagles to advance to the 2nd round.  Schley Co and Dublin should be a good match, but look for Dublin to pull away behind a strong group of upper weights.  In the finals, Landmark has enough studs scattered through out their lower and middle weights to give Dublin some match up problems.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Landmark Christian


St. Francis vs Athens Christian
Georgia Military at Charlton Co

The Area 2 Champions are a very tough dual team with a lot of talent in the light weights and heavy weights, and enough role players through the middle to advance out of round 1 by a solid margin.  St. Francis is led by Jace and Cade Parent, but they do not have a strong enough supporting cast to advance past Athens Christian.  In the Finals, Athens Christian will get some wins through the middle of the lineup, but the Indians will probe too much.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Charlton Co


Bryan Co vs Marion Co
Bowdon at Trion

Trion is one of the favorites to win the State Championship, and they shouldn't have any problems with any of these teams.  Bryan Co should be able to advance to the Sweet 16 as Marion consistently weighs in fewer than 13 wrestlers.  

Advancing to the Elite 8- Trion


Washington-Wilkes vs Mount Vernon
BYE at Social Circle

Area 8 is one of the tougher Areas in this classification, and Washington-Wilkes was able to come through as the 3 seed.  Mount Vernon only weighed in around 15 kids at the Area Duals, and they can't cover all the weight classes.  Washington-Wilkes should advance comfortably to face off against Social Circle in the finals.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Social Circle


Turner Co vs Mount de Sales
Towns Co at Mt. Pisgah

Mount de Sales has already been advanced in the bracket, not sure why, but obviously Turner Co has pulled out of the State Duals.  Mt. Pisgah is your defending State Duals Champions, and have put themselves in a great position to once again contend for the State Title this year.  Pisgah should easily handle Towns Co in round 1 and move on to face Mount de Sales in the Sweet 16.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Mt. Pisgah


Armuchee vs Mt. Zion, Carroll
Brookstone vs Screven Co

To me this quadrant has great  1st round dual between Armuchee and Mt. Zion.  The winner of that dual will advance to face a very good Screven Co team that advanced to the Elite 8 last season.  The two teams were scheduled to meet on January 5th, but I have not seen any results posted for that Dual.  Both teams strengths are down low, and we could get a great match at 120 between Dempsey and Daniels.  Screven has a much more balanced lineup from top to bottom and I think they will edge Armuchee in the finals.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Screven Co


Strong Rock vs Irwin Co
Holy Innocents at Commerce

Styles make fights, and matchups make duals.  Holy innocents and their phenomenal core of low to mid weights will go up against Commerce and their core of upper middle weights and heavy weights.  This dual could literally come down to 106 and 113 and bonus points.  Ultimately, I see Commerce edging past setting up a dual with Irwin Co in the finals.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Commerce


Mt. Paran vs Gordon Lee
Montgomery Co at Pacelli

Both Gordon Lee and Pacelli shouldn't have too much trouble advancing to the 2nd round.  Pacelli will be looking to return to the Elite 8 after being forced out last season due to Covid.  Gordon Lee surprised me a little bit by finishing 2nd in a very tough Area 7.  This Dual, with advancement on the line will be the best match in 1A in the sweet 16.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Pacelli


Here is how I rank the teams that I have predicted to advance to the Elite 8, these are not seeds, just my rankings.
1. Trion
2. Social Circle
3. Mt. Pisgah
4. Commerce
5. Screven Co
6. Pacelli
7. Charlton Co
8. Landmark Christian


Jeff Davis vs Putnam Co
Coosa at Oglethorpe Co

I really thought Coosa would finish higher in their Area, avoiding a match up with the defending State Duals Champions.  Oglethorpe is once again in position to win the State Championship, and this quadrant does not have anyone that can keep them from advancing once again.  Both Putnam and Jeff Davis have solid pieces, but neither of them have enough horses in their lineup to match what Oglethorpe will put on the mat.  I anticipate Oglethorpe will see Putnam Co in the quadrants finals.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Oglethorpe Co


Columbia vs Banks Co
Callaway at Vidalia 

Banks and Vidalia will both advance to the 2nd round, setting up a rematch from last season's Elite 8 consolation semifinals.  Vidalia won that match 42-38 and would eventually finish 4th.   This year, Banks Co is loaded in the lower weights, and Vidalia is loaded through the middle weights.  This matchup could come down to which teams upperweights perform.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Vidalia


Jasper Co vs Berrien
Glenn Hills at Dade Co

Like the quadrant above, Berrien and Dade Co should advance to the 2nd round without concern.  Dade Co looks to be one of the teams that could potentially with the State Title, and while Berrien has some good talent, Dade is way too deep to be pushed here.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Dade Co


Union Co vs Pace Academy
East Laurens at Haralson Co

Haralson Co has already been advanced to the 2nd round in the brackets on the GHSA site.  Union Co comes from a very deep Area with two powerhouse programs at the top, while Pace comes from a top heavy Area that only has two competitive teams total.  Pace will definitely have the better top end talent, but their drop off to the next tier of wrestlers in their lineup is significant.  Union Co is very balanced from top to bottom, and they have enough depth to give them plenty of flexibility to sneak by Pace and advance to the 2nd round.  Every year I underestimate Haralson Co and this year was no different, last year they narrowly missed out on advancing to the Elite 8, losing 39-38 to Toombs Co, this time i see them narrowly advancing over Union Co.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Haralson Co


Swainsboro vs Bremen
Rabun Co vs Lovett

Bremen finishing 3rd in their Area was one of the biggest surprises to me from last weekend, the punishment for this mishap is that they will face Lovett with advancement to the Elite 8 on the line.  Bremen has already been advanced to the 2nd round in the GHSA brackets, and they will face a Lovett team that has the potential to win the State Championship.  

Advancing to the Elite 8- Lovett


Model vs Elbert
Dodge Co at Lamar Co

The Model vs Elbert dual will be one of the better 1st round matchups in all of 2A, but Elbert has the depth and top end firepower to make it through to a phenomenal match up with Lamar Co in the Sweet 16.  Elbert failed to qualify for the Elite 8 last year, losing to the State Champs (Oglethorpe) in the Area finals and the State Runner-up (Dade) in the Sweet 16.  They were definitely one of the top 8 teams last year, and this year they will have to get by a tough Lamar Co squad that is solid from top to bottom, and very good in spots throughout the lineup.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Elbert Co


Temple vs Toombs Co
Washington at Fannin Co

Fannin Co failed to qualify for the Elite 8 last year, losing to Lovett in the Sweet 16, their response was to come back and win the State Traditional title.  They will once again push through to the Sweet 16, but this time they will face Toombs Co.  Toombs did qualify for the Elite 8 last season, however they went 0-2.  Fannin may not be quite as loaded as they were last year, but they will definitely have enough to survive Toombs Co.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Fannin Co


Westside, Augusta vs Pepperell
Southeast at Cook Co

Cook Co and Pepperell will easily advance against two lineups that will be less than full.  Pepperell comes from arguably the toughest Area in the classification and they will be well prepared to handle the likes of Cook Co.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Pepperell


Here is how I rank the teams that I have predicted to advance to the Elite 8, these are not seeds, just my rankings.

1. Dade Co
2. Lovett
3. Oglethorpe Co
4. Fannin Co
5. Pepperell
6. Elbert Co
7. Vidalia
8. Haralson Co


Appling Co vs Hephzibah
North Hall at Gilmer

Rematch of last years State Duals Finals in round 1!!!!!!!!!  North Hall won that Dual last year, but this isn't the same North Hall squad, and Gilmer should advance handily.  Appling Co will cruise by Hephzibah, but will then run into a buzz saw in the Sweet 16.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Gilmer


Coahulla Creek vs Hart Co
Adairsville at Pike Co

This could possibly be the most balanced quadrant of any classification.  Hart Co and Adairsville both advanced to the Elite 8 last season, with Adairsville winning 45-25 over Pike Co in the Sweet 16.  Adairsville seems to have some of their key pieces missing, and if they are still out this weekend, Pike will roll to a victory in round 1.  Coahulla Creek has the lightweights to go with anyone in the bracket, but they lack the supporting cast to go along with those light weights, and Hart Co is balanced enough to withstand the early onslaught and push through.  

Advancing to the Elite 8- Pike Co


Morgan Co vs Pierce Co
Dawson Co at White Co

Morgan Co falling all the way to number 3 in their Region was very surprising to me, they have already been advanced out to the 2nd round in the GHSA bracket.  Dawson Co is coming out of a 5 team Area that features a brand new school, White Co should roll through them in the first round.  White Co vs Morgan Co is an intriguing matchup, on paper Morgan looks to have the top end talent to win this dual, but White Co is the much more balanced team.  Look for White Co to score big bonus in spots through out the dual, and limit Morgan's bonus points to advance.

Advancing to the Elite 8- White Co


Franklin Co vs Ringgold
Jackson at Rockmart

Rockmart is one of a handful of teams in this classification with a chance to win the State Title.  Ringgold is showing steady improvement, but I think they are still a year away from pushing through to a top 10 team.  Ringgold should handle Franklin Co, but that match will be closer than i would have projected at the beginning of the season.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Rockmart


Upson Lee vs Westminster
Monroe Area at Sonoraville

Sonoraville is another team on the short list of having a shot at the State Championship.  I thought this might be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Phoenix, but they are hitting their stride at the right time, and they will be tough to beat in a dual with their upper weights.  Upson Lee should be able to get by Westminster, they have more depth and more lineup flexibility than the Wildcats.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Sonoraville


Lumpkin Co vs North Murray
Beach at Harlem

Beach has already backed out, so Harlem has been advanced to round 2 in the GHSA brackets.  Lumpkin Co dropping all the way to 3rd in their Area was even more surprising than Morgan Co's fall to number 3.  I am not sure if they were missing guys or what, but I had them pegged as a team with the potential to make a deep run in the Elite 8.  If they have everyone this weekend, they should cruise into next weekend.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Lumpkin Co


GAC vs Mary Persons
Lafayette at Oconee Co

The Warriors of Oconee Co have been the surprise team of class 3A this season.  I knew that they would be tough, but they have proven to be much tougher than I had originally thought.  Mary Persons should advance to the Sweet 16 against a talented, but less than full GAC lineup.  Ultimately Oconee Co will prevail and advance after falling one round short last season.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Oconee Co


Murray Co vs Cherokee Bluff
Burke Co at Brantley Co

Brantley Co won Area 1 this season after finishing 2nd last year, however Area 1 went 0 fer last year at the State Duals.  Cherokee Bluff finished 2nd in one of the toughest Areas in the classification, and they are much more battle tested than any of the other three teams.  Look for the Bluff to win comfortably against Murray Co and then roll through Burke Co to advance.

Advancing to the Elite 8- Cherokee Bluff


Here is how I rank the teams that I have predicted to advance to the Elite 8, these are not seeds, just my rankings.

1. Rockmart
2. Sonoraville
3. Gilmer
4. White Co
5. Pike Co
6. Oconee Co
7. Cherokee Bluff
8. Lumpkin Co