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Class 4A State Duals Preview

By Georgia Grappler, 01/19/22, 6:30PM AKST


State Dual Finals this Weekend

State Dual Championship

Initial Reactions

- 7 of the 8 Regions are represented with only Region 3 missing from the Elite 8.  

- Only 2 teams from the 2021 Elite 8 tournament qualified in 2022, Jefferson and West Laurens.  4 of the teams advancing to the Elite 8 won their sweet 16 match by fewer than 10 points, with Columbus edging Chestatee 37-36 as the closest bout.

- Bainbridge and Cedartown both advanced to the elite 8 as Region Runner ups, and their Region Champion failed to qualify.

- The brackets do not sit well with me as I see West Laurens and Columbus as the 2nd and 3rd best teams in the bracket and they meet in the 1st round, at least they are both opposite of Jefferson.

1st Round

Jefferson vs Bainbridge:  Jefferson is the heavy favorite to repeat as the State Duals Champions, they did win 61-15 in the finals last season.  They are 12-1 in Duals this season with a loss to Trion to go along with several big wins.  They probably won't be tested at all the entire day, and they definitely will not be tested here in round 1.  Bainbridge comes in as the Region 1 runner up, defeating Central Carroll 48-31 in the sweet 16.  They have some tough wrestlers that will do well at traditional, but they will have nothing for Jefferson in a dual.

Hampton vs Heritage, Catoosa:  Heritage has a solid dual meet record of 21-6, but lost to Cedartown 40-39 at the Region Duals.  Hampton comes in with a record of 10-7 and they were beaten by West Laurens 83-0 on January 4th,  Despite finishing 3rd in their Region Duals, Heritage is a very tough dual squad which is evident with their win over Gilmer this season.  They will have enough firepower to get by Hampton in round 1.

West Laurens vs Columbus:  Columbus is 14-2 in dual meets this season, but they don't have any standout wins or any bad losses.  I am real high on this team, but I am beginning to believe they may be a little better suited for a run at the traditional tournament than in a dual format.  They have their fair share of elite level talent, and they will give a lot of teams problems, but their supporting cast may not be enough to get by some of the teams that have a more balanced lineup.  West Laurens happens to be one of those teams that is solid from top to bottom and they have their fair share of talent that will make it difficult for Columbus to advance.

Cedartown vs Marist:  I really don't know what to thing of this 1st round matchup, and I am super confused at how Cedartown came away with the #2 seed.  Cedartown finished 2nd at their Region Duals, losing to Central Carroll in the finals, and somehow this translated to the overall 2 seed?!?  They did defeat West Laurens 54-19 on November 13th, but I can promise they will see a much different team in the semifinals.  Marist is a solid squad, but they just don't have enough top end talent to compete with the best teams in this bracket


Jefferson vs Heritage, Catoosa:  Heritage will win some matches down low against the Dragons, but Jefferson will just overwhelm them with superior talent through out their lineup.  Despite some mid season issues, Jefferson seems to be hitting their stride at just the right time, but I have no idea who is in the lineup for them at 182 to replace Poe.

Potential Matchups: Obviously this could and will change based on coaches moving people around to optimize their lineups.
106- Turtle Kazienko vs Tate Thomas
113- Tucker Kazienko vs Hayden Scheeler
120- Chaz McDonald vs Landon Albright
126- Davis Dollar vs Andrew Moore/Conner Pennington
132- Carson Goodwin vs Victor Johnson
138- Jonathan Wagner vs Andrew Dietz
145- Davis Dendy vs Cayman Hughey/Michael Stokes
152- Creed Thomas vs Cayman Hughey/Michael Stokes
160- Cap Benson vs Evan Wingrove/Damon Jones
170- Bryant Cox vs Skylar Grant
182- ???? vs Nolan Caylor
195- Luke Cochran vs Conner McGinnis
220- Sammy Brown vs ????
285- Tucker Belin vs Eli RIchardson

Jefferson is heavily favored in 10 bouts, and could easily walk away with 1 or 2 more.  Heritage will get a couple of wins, but in the end this will be total domination, and Jefferson will advance to the Finals.

West Laurens vs Cedartown:  As I said above, Cedartown won this matchup back on November 13th.  However the 2nd go around between these two teams will look much different across the board, different lineups, different weights, different people.  

Potential Matchups: Obviously this could and will change based on coaches moving people around to optimize their lineups.
106- Alec Brantley vs Kooper Peek
113- Bryson Tapley vs Bryson Dooley
120- Dawson Lumley vs Bryson Bennett/Adam Payton 
126- Aiden Ingram vs Fernando Cordova
132- Cam Boston vs Gage Mason/Juelz Davis
138- JT Bowers vs Gage Mason/ Juelz Davis
145- Ryan Sawyer vs Jesus Navarro
152- Aiden Roberson vs Rhys Smith
160- Jake Shepard vs Jaqueveon Price
170- Christian Boston vs Isaac Ritter
182- Caden Snell vs Orlando Lopez
195- Evan Guyton vs Braden Stocks
220- Jathon Willis vs Tristan Gibson
285- Chase Horne vs Peyton Holloway

West Laurens could very well sweep 152 and up during this Dual, and they should be able to pick up a win or two down low putting this match out of reach.  Cedartown will win a few matches, but West Laurens could walk away here with a 10/4 split.  

Consolation Rounds
Bainbridge over Hampton
Columbus over Marist

Cedartown over Bainbridge
Columbus over Heritage, Catoosa

Consolation Finals
Cedartown vs Columbus:  Both of these teams have several holes throughout their lineup.  Columbus has some elite level talent, and a strong supporting cast of 2nd tier wrestlers.  Cedartown doesnt have many "Big" names but they have a few scrappy kids that can pick up a few wins, but it wont be enough to grab that 3rd place trophy.

Final Score: Columbus 48   Cedartown 27

State Championship Dual
Jefferson vs West Laurens:
106- Turtle Kazienko vs Alec Brantley
113- Tucker Kazienko vs Bryson Tapley
120- Chaz McDonald vs Dawson Lumley/Chase Walker
126- Davis Dollar vs Aiden Ingram
132- Carson Goodwin vs Cam Boston
138- Jonathan Wagner vs JT Bowers
145- Davis Dendy vs Ryan Sawyer
152- Creed Thomas vs Aiden Roberson/Drake Wood
160- Cap Benson vs Jake Shepard
170- Bryant Cox vs Christian Boston
182- ???? vs Caden Snell
195- Luke Cochran vs Evan Guyton
220- Sammy Brown vs Jathon Willis
285- Tucker Belin vs Chase Horne

This match could be a 10-4 split and will more than likely possibly a 9/5 split if West Laurens can pick up an extra win.  Jefferson is a terrible matchup for West Laurens, and while they will eventually dominate this match.  

Final Score: Jefferson 58   West Laurens 21

Top 4
1. Jefferson
2. West Lauens
3. Columbus
4. Cedartown

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