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Team Reviews by Classification

By Georgia Grappler, 06/10/22, 8:45AM AKDT


With GHSA Realignment comes New Classifications


With some teams changing classifications, there are several new matchups that we will likely see once the post season rolls around.

Class 1A

Familiar foes facing of for the most part here, as this class sees some leave up to 2A or to GISA.  However, adding Pepperell, Oglethorpe Co, and Elbert Co to the mix could provide for quite a few interesting individual matchups.

Contenders:  Mt. Pisgah, Pepperell, Social Circle, Trion
These four teams have the most coming back on paper and they lead the way as the favorites heading into the season.

Darkhorses: Commerce, Screven Co, St. Francis
Depending on what they can add to those expecting to come back, these three schools look to have the best chance at moving up in to the contenders list.  However, they also could fall back in the pack if they cant fill their holes.

Looking to Make Some Noise:  East Laurens, Elbert Co, Rabun Co
The pieces are there to make some a run, but there are definite spots to filled.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Dade Co and Oglethorpe Co
Both of these teams lost a bit to graduation, will they be able to reload and compete for a title this year, or will they have a rebuild and look ahead to 2024 or 2025?

Region Champs:
1- East Laurens
2- Charlton
3- Screven Co
4- Social Circle
5- Pepperell
6- Mt. Pisgah
7- Trion
8- Commerce

Top 5
1. Social Circle
2. Mt. Pisgah
3. Trion
4. Commerce
5. Pepperell

Class 2A

With Rockmart dropping down from 3A and Lovett, Oglethorpe, and Dade moving out, this class will see quite a shake up in team competition as well as some individual matchups.

Contenders:  Fannin Co and Rockmart
These two are clearly the top two teams in 2A coming into the season.  Lineup positioning and newcomers will ultimately decide if they stay at the top.

Darkhorses: Banks Co and Toombs Co
These two are clearly below the top tier, however they are also clearly ahead of everyone else.

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Cook, Model, Northeast, and Pierce Co
These teams have a lot of ground to make up if they are wanting to push up into the next level, but they are all in great position for a top 10 finish.  Also, keep an eye on ELCA, they have some nice pieces  returning and could push for a top 5 spot.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Jeff Davis and Vidalia
Both of these teams are usually hanging around the top 10 and pushing to move into the top 5.

Region Champs:
1- Cook
2- Northeast
3- Toombs
4- Putnam Co
6- Walker
7- Rockmart
8- Fannin Co

Top 5
1. Rockmart
2. Fannin Co
3. Banks Co
4. Toombs Co
5. Model

Class 3A

Gone are Rockmart, Sonoraville, and North Hall, but teams better watch out for Columbus dropping from 4A, they are loaded with talent.

Contenders:  Columbus, Gilmer, Ringgold
Columbus is loaded, and Ringgold is returning most of their starters from last year.  Gilmer lost quite a bit to graduation, but they are also returning several studs, if they reload like they usually do, they will be right where they usually are, at the top.

Darkhorses: Franklin Co, Lumpkin Co, Morgan Co, Pickens Co, White Co
Each of these teams has a solid core coming back, whichever team can add the most with newcomers will be the team that pushes up into contender status. 

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Adairsville, Gordon Lee, Hart Co, Pike Co
Adairsville, Hart, and Pike are all coming off of successful runs over the past couple of years and while they have significant pieces in place, they will need to fill several holes to get back into contention for a top 5 run.  Gordon Lee is building and pushing to get back up to the top and this year they are looking to take that next step.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Bremen and Oconee Co
They each have a couple of studs that will place high, but they have both lost a lot of talent to graduation over the past couple of season.

Region Champs:
2- Pike Co
3- Calvary Day
4- Morgan Co
5- Adairsville
6- Ringgold
7- Gilmer
8- Franklin Co

Top 5
1. Columbus
2. Gilmer
3. Ringgold
4. Lumpkin Co
5. Franklin Co

Class 4A

Teams that finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in the State Duals are all leaving 4A with Jefferson and Marist moving up and Columbus moving down.  However defending 2A State Champion Lovett moves in along with perennial powers Sonoraville and North Hall.

Contenders:  Chestatee, Lovett, Heritage, Sonoraville, and West Laurens
On paper, Lovett returns the most by a significant margin, how will the jump of two classifications impact them when the post season rolls around.  Chestatee and Heritage had a great year last season, and they return a ton a talent and could be in the mix.  West Laurens won the State Duals last year, and while they do have a solid group returning they were hit hard by graduation in the upperweights.  Sonoraville lost some big time talent, and they are moving up from 3A, but they have plenty of fire power returning to be in the mix. 

Darkhorses: North Hall, North Oconee, and Walnut Grove
These three teams are very similar, each is in a rebuild coming off of a team that was in the hunt for a State Title.  If any of them can replenish their lineup to go along with their proven studs, they could be in the mix for the title.

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Central Carrol, Holy Innocents, Troup
The pieces are their for these teams, but each one of them has several holes to fill before they can reach contender status.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Madison Co
Madison lost a ton of talent over the past two seasons and while the rebuild actually started last year, it will continue into this season.

Region Champs:
1- Bainbridge
2- West Laurens
3- Wayne Co
4- Troup
5- Lovett
6- Holy Innocents
8- Chestatee

Top 5
1. Lovett
2. Sonoraville
3. Heritage
4. Chestatee
5. West Laurens

Class 5A

Jefferson, Cambridge, and Flowery Branch all move into the classification with Woodward and Jackson County moving out.  The potential Jefferson vs Cass matchup may be one of the most anticipated in the State.

Contenders:  Cass and Jefferson
I really don't see anyone else in this classification coming close to these two teams during the season.

Darkhorses: Flowery Branch, Greenbrier, McIntosh, and Ola
After the top 2 in this classification, there really are 7-10 teams that are all packed in closely to one another.

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Cambridge, Cartersville, Coffee, Dalton, Locust Grove, and Ware Co, 
Cambridge and Ware Co look to have the greatest potential of this group to move up to the next tier, but again no one from here will challenge the top 2 teams.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Woodland and Harris Co
2021 Woodland may have been the greatest high school wrestling team in the history of Georgia wrestling.  The drop off in 2022 was significant, but the drop off from that team to 2023 is huge.  Will the Wildcats just reload like they have in the past, or will they fall into obscurity as they did in the mid 2000's.  Harris Co had one of the toughest teams in Georgia, regardless of classification, they just happened to spend the last 2 years in one of the toughest classifications ever, and like Woodland, they are on a full rebuild.

Region Champs:
1- Greenbrier
2- Ola
3- McIntosh
4- Arabia Mountain
5- Villa Rica
6- Cambridge
7- Cass
8- Jefferson

Top 5
1. Cass
2. Jefferson
3. Ola
4. Greenbrier
5. Flowery Branch

Class 6A

Buford, Valdosta, Richmond Hill, and Cambridge all move out of 6A.  Jackson Co, Marist, and Thomas County Central move up into 6A, while North Forsyth, Tift, Etowah, and Newnan move down from 7A.

Contenders:  Brunswick, Jackson Co, Lee Co, and South Paulding
This classification is the most up in the air out of any of the other 7 classes.  There are no truly dominate teams in 6A, but there are A LOT of really good teams.  Heading into the season, these four teams seem to stand out, but only by a small margin.

Darkhorses: Blessed Trinity, Lassiter, Marist, Newnan, South Effingham, Thomas County Central
As closely packed in as this classification looks to be, it wouldn't surprise me to see the State Champions come from this group right here.  

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Effingham Co, Etowah, Lakeside Evans
While it doesn't seem possible for any of these three to push to a title, each of them could be knocking on the door to the top 5. 

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Alexander, Creekview, North Forsyth, Pope, Sequoyah, and Woodward
The crazy part is,, under the right set of circumstances, all 5 of these teams could be in contention for the title by the end of the season.  Alexander and Pope would be the least likely as they need to rebuild not only their lineup, but also their coaching staff, but the other 4 teams have shown in the past that they can enter the season with low expectations and end the season near the top of their classification.  North Forsyth, Sequoyah, and Woodward all lost a ton of points to graduation from last season.  Creekview has seen a lot of points leave over the past two seasons.  Based on their returning lineups, North Forsyth and Woodward look to be in the best position to really move up the list during the season.

Region Champs:
1- Lee Co
2- Brunswick
3- Woodward Academy
4- Marist
5- South Paulding
6- Etowah
7- Lassiter
8- Jackson Co

Top 5
1. Brunswick
2. Jackson Co
3. Lee Co
4. Lassiter
5. Woodward Academy

Class 7A

Buford vs Camden may be one of the most anticipated matchups that we have had in quite a while.  Valdosta and Richmond Hill are also moving into the classification, while State Duals runner up, North Forsyth is the only top 8 team to be moving out of the classification.

Contenders:  Buford and Camden Co
These will be the top two teams in the classification.  Buford is absolutely loaded and they are young, they have one the best sophomore group in the state.  Camden's starting lineup will be relatively unknown heading into the season, but their incoming group of freshman is loaded.  

Darkhorses: Brookwood, Lowndes, and North Paulding
All three of these teams return solid lineups, but they will not be able to break through into the top 2.  

Looking to Make Some Noise:  Archer, Colquitt Co, Mill Creek, and West Forsyth
Archer and Mill Creek look to be trending upwards, while Colquitt and West Forsyth lost a ton to graduation over the last couple of years, but both of them have several nice pieces to build around.

Traditional Power Needing to Rebuild:  Mountain View
They had an injury riddled 2022 season, if they can get those guys back healthy and add a few pieces, they will be right back up in the mix battling for a top 5 finish.

Region Champs:
1- Camden Co
2- Carrollton
3- North Paulding
4- Brookwood
5- Cherokee
6- West Forsyth
7- Peachtree Ridge
8- Buford

Top 5
1. Buford
2. Camden Co
3. Lowndes
4. North Paulding
5. Mill Creek