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Class 7A State Duals Preview

By Georgia Grappler, 01/21/22, 10:15AM AKST

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State Dual Final This Weekend

State Dual Championship

Initial Reactions

- Crazy makeup here with 2 Regions both getting three teams into the Elite 8.  Only 4 Regions have teams that qualified for the Elite 8, Region 1,3,6, and 8.

- 5 of the 8 teams from last season's Elite 8 are back again this year, including 2021's top 4.  New this year is Lambert, Mill Creek, and North Paulding.

- With 6 of the 8 teams coming from two Regions, the brackets pretty much set themselves.  Which gives us an unfortunate matchup between 2 of the top 4 teams, North Forsyth and Lowndes, in round 1. 

1st Round

Camden Co vs Lambert:  Welcome to the Elite 8 Lambert, your reward is a first round date with Camden Co, a team that lost a total of 4 individual matches at last year's State Duals.  With more than 10 seniors in the starting lineup, Camden looks once again to be well on their way to another State Title.  This will be a great measuring stick for some of Lambert's individuals who have their sights set on reaching the podium in Macon in a couple of weeks.

West Forsyth vs North Paulding:  Last Year's State Duals runner-up will square off with a scrappy North Paulding squad that is very good in the light weights and the lower middle weights.  However, that is right in the middle of West Forsyth's wheelhouse.  North Paulding will pick up some individual wins, but the strength of West Forsyth's lineup will prove to be a little bit stronger than the strength of North Paulding's lineup.

Colquitt Co vs Mill Creek:  Both of these teams are very similar in that they both have high end star power, and they both have really good complimentary top tier talent to back up the stars.  Its the next level of talent in their lineup that will prove to be the difference in this dual, and I think Colquitt will be able to pick up enough wins with the guys that are not household names to edge Mill Creek in round 1.

North Forsyth vs Lowndes:  Like I stated earlier, I believe that these are 2 of the top 4 teams, and unfortunately they have to meet in round 1 because of ridiculous bracket rules that are sometimes enforced by the GHSA.  These two teams also met in round 1 last year, with Lowndes winning 45-30, 21 of the 28 wrestlers that were in this dual last year are back on their teams roster.  11 of them wrestle for North Forsyth and most of them are at the same weight they were at last season.  Lowndes can win this Dual if they can pick up 1 or 2 wins above 160lbs, if not North Forsyth will advance.  

Semifinals

Camden Co vs West Forsyth:  This is a rematch of last years State Finals which was won by Camden 63-12, and both wrestlers that got pins for West Forsyth last year have graduated.  Camden is just on another level, we have seen them win State Titles with lineups full of freshmen and sophomores and we have seen them win State Titles with lineups full of juniors and seniors.  This one has more than 10 seniors and will be one of the more dominant State Champs in the entire State this season.  The positive for West Forsyth is that the bulk of the strong part of their lineup is made up of sophomores, so the future is looking good for them.

Potential Matchups: Obviously this could and will change based on coaches moving people around to optimize their lineups.
106- Bradley Patterson vs Riley Michaud
113- Derrick Swinson-Young vs Reed Walker
120- Riley Dahlgren vs Noah Amick
126- Jacob Fink/Gavin Daniels vs Noah Danforth
132- Anthony Santos vs Quinn Bovenizer/Tony Tanory
138- Porter Bryant vs Cale Ewing
145- Elijah Griffin vs DJ Little
152- Konlin Weaver vs Griffin Knapp
160- Chris Zuzich/CahMari Johnson vs Caide Daltro
170- CahMari Johnson/Christ Schwarting vs Matthew Rogers
182- Britt Blair/Chris Schwarting vs Bryson Rogers
195- Deonte Dozier vs Zane Brooks
220- Dorian Powell/Dustin Edinfield vs Turner Bell/Joe Zereini
285- Anthony Yancey vs Jay Helstone

Camden is favored in 10 weights and I think they could win as many as 12.  West Forsyth should be able to pick a couple of wins down low in the lightweights as long as they can keep the correct matchups.  This one will be similar to last years matchup.

North Forsyth vs Colquitt: Two contrasting teams with North Forsyth's high end upper weights and very consistently solid lineup from top to bottom matching up with Colquitt's superstars that are balanced out with solid wrestlers through the rest of the lineup.  North Forsyth will not be able to touch Colquitt where they have their stars, the question is, can they pick up enough wins between 106-145 to supplement their upper weights.

Potential Matchups: Obviously this could and will change based on coaches moving people around to optimize their lineups.
106- Arcadian Eaton vs Miguel Escobar
113- Reece Meyers vs Eric Henson
120- Michael Gryder vs FF
126- Isaac Hall vs Ethan Sellers
132- Ivan Mercado vs Logan Paradice
138- Dmitry Vostrikov/Reece Davis vs Michael Bledsoe/Nathanial Taylor
145- Christopher Henderson vs Michael Bledsoe/Nathanial Taylor
152- Bentley Wheeler vs Tristan Dunbar/Russell Flowers
160- Cale Bissell vs Jeremy Paradice
170- Cody Scroggins vs Jesus Grijalva/Landon Taylor
182- Tristan Graham vs Jaylon McCloud
195- Dylan Lyerly vs Matthew Dillan
220- Collin Miller vs James Bledsoe
285- Eli Edwards vs JaQuavian Daniels

I really see this as a 6/6 split if things were to go straight up with toss ups at 106 and 220.  Colquitt should be comfortable through the lower middle weights except for 152, and North Forsyth should be comfortable in the upper weights.  Both teams have a couple of maneuvers that they can make to help their cause, but ultimately it could come down to bonus or one team winning both toss ups.  I think North Forsyth has a better chance of sweeping the toss ups, and i think they have a better chance of winning the bonus battle so I see them slipping by into the finals.

Consolation Rounds
North Paulding over Lambert
Lowndes over Mill Creek

Colquitt Co over Lambert
Lowndes over West Forsyth

Consolation Finals
Colquitt Co vs Lowndes:  We have seen this dual play out several times over the last few years, including a 45-33 Colquitt win in last year's consolation finals.  Colquitt has had their number more times than not.  With Lowndes not being 100% healthy it makes it even more likely that Colquitt will win it again.

Final Score: Colquitt 41 Lowndes 28

State Championship Dual
Camden vs North Forsyth
106- Bradley Patterson vs Arcadian Eaton
113- Derrick Swinson-Young vs Reece Meyers
120- Riley Dahlgren vs Michael Gryder
126- Jacob Fink/Gavin Daniels vs Isaac Hall
132- Anthony Santos vs Ivan Mercado
138- Porter Bryant vs Dmitry Vostrikov/Reece Davis
145- Elijah Griffin vs Christopher Henderson
152- Konlin Weaver vs Bentley Wheeler
160- Chris Zuzich/CahMari Johnson vs Cale Bissell
170- CahMari Johnson/Christ Schwarting vs Cody Scroggins
182- Britt Blair/Chris Schwarting vs Tristan Graham
195- Deonte Dozier vs Dylan Lyerly
220- Dorian Powell/Dustin Edinfield vs Collin Miller
285- Anthony Yancey vs Eli Edwards

In order to make this preview interesting, lets just say that North Forsyth CAN win 8 weight classes.  Camden still may prevail because they do such a good job at limiting bonus.  In reality, what North Forsyth can do and what they will do, or should I say what Camden will allow them to do are two very different things.  In the end Camden will hang with North Forsyth's stellar upper weights, and may even out point them, and then dominate them in the lower weights and with the Dual by a comfortable margin.

Final Score: Camden 33  North Forsyth 17

Top 4
1. Camden
2. North Forsyth
3. Colquitt Co
4. Lowndes 

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