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4A State Tournament Preview and Predictions

By Georgia Grappler, 02/14/23, 10:45AM AKST


Individual State Champions will be Crowned!!!!!


It's time for the Traditional State Tournament, but before we get to that, just a few stats on how our Rankings stacked up to Sectional results.

140 of the 168 State Qualifiers were ranked in our final top 15 Rankings.

11 of the 14 top ranked wrestlers won their Sectional Tournament

Team Race: This is a 2 team race between Lovett and Central, Carroll.  We will highlight those 2 teams in each weights preview.

The 4A State Tournament will begin at 8am on Thursday (2/16) and the Finals will be held Friday (2/17) evening at around 7:00

Good Luck to all the Wrestlers and Coaches this week as you chase your dreams and goals!!!  If we don't predict you where you want to be, then go out there and prove us wrong.

Lightweights 106-132

Top 2 ranked guys were in different sectionals and they both won, as an added bonus, they are on the top 2 teams, so there could be extra intrigue if they meet in the finals.  However both wrestlers could have their hands full in the semifinals.

Team Race: As mentioned above, Smyth of Lovett and Swann of Central, Carroll are on a collision course for the finals.  Both teams will need their 106s to achieve their potential, especially since it could be a head to head final.

Best 1st round match: #10 Ruis (SE Whitfield) vs #9 Sistrunk (Perry)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Thomas (Heritage, Cat) vs #4 Chastain (Sonoraville)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Gabe Swann, Central Carroll
2nd- Tate Thomas, Heritage
3rd- Patrick Smyth, Lovett
4th- Noah Chastain, Sonoraville
5th- Kadin McDonald, Chestatee
5th- Akshay Olley, Whitewater


This is arguably the most highly anticipated finals match in 4A.  2x State Runner-up Alex Hyman of Lovett vs defending State Champ Ollie Webb of Southeast Whitfield.  They come into the tournament ranked #1 and #2 and they both won their sectionals, and they both will have to earn their way into the finals with tough semifinal matchups.  

Team Race: Despite winning the Duals, Central Carroll looks to be a little behind Lovett entering the Traditional tournament, they could really go a long way in making up the difference with an upset in the semifinals here as Colt Mitchell should face of against Alex Hyman on the bottom half of the bracket.  

Best 1st round match: #6 Ganz (Pace Academy) vs #10 Smith (Druid Hills)

Best Quarterfinal match: #7 Maddox (N. Oconee) vs #5 Guardado (Chestatee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Alex Hyman, Lovett
2nd- Oliver Webb, SE Whitfield
3rd- Colt Mtchell, Central Carroll
4th- Alexis Guardado, Chestatee
5th- Benjamin Ganz, Pace Academy
5th- Thomas Young, Sonoraville


Another opportunity to get a 1 vs 2 matchup in the finals between wrestlers that each won their sectional.  Cole Cano recently dropped down to 120 and should definitely improve on his 4th place finish from last year.  Ty Murray has had a phenomenal freshman campaign and will look to begin his quest to become a 4 timer.

Team Race: Lovett did not qualify anyone at this weight.  Murray needs to reach his potential of making the finals in order for Central Carroll to have a chance at closing the gap between them and Lovett.  While there won't be a head to head at this weight, it is very important for Central Carroll to score what they are supposed to here.

Best 1st round match: #5 Bolden New Hampstead) vs #10 Livingston (Trinity Christian)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Diallo (Mt Zion, Jonesboro) vs #11 Farmer (Johnson)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Cole Cano, North Oconee
2nd- Ty Murray, Central Carroll
3rd- Amadou Diallo, Mt Zion Jonesboro
4th- Ty Boldin, New Hampstead
5th- Alexander Dunaj, Starrs Mill
5th- Josh Smith, Whitewater


Kuskey of Lovett and Davis of N. Oconee were 1 and 2 heading into sectionals, and they met in the semis with Kuskey winning by decision.  They are on opposite sides of the bracket this week and if Davis can get through Ward of Troup he should be able to get that rematch with the defending State Champ.

Team Race: Kuskey should give Lovett another finalist as the other sectional was not near as tough as the one he just navigated.  That disparity gave Central Carroll quite a boost as Krutules was able to walk away as Sectional Champ, increasing his odds of advancing to the semis and placing, but not guaranteeing it.  Krutules will have a very tough quarterfinal match that he will need to win if he wants to get on the podium this year.

Best 1st round match: #11 Jordan (Perry) vs #7 Ruiz (New Hampstead)

Best Quarterfinal match: #6 Krutules (Central, Carroll) vs #4 Blake (Cedar Shoals)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Cael Kusky, Lovett
2nd- Aaron Davis- North Oconee
3rd- Elijah Ward, Troup Co
4th- Obayeni Blake, Cedar Shoals
5th- Max Ruiz, New Hampstead
5th- Jet Le, Shaw


Could we see a 3rd weekend in a row with a finals match between Adam Payton of Cedartown and Colson Hoffman of Central Carroll.  They entered the post season 1 and 2 and they have stayed that way as we enter the State Finals.  It looks like both guys could see former State placers from Region 8 in their semifinals matches, but I think we will see round 3.

Team Race: Lovett does not have an entry here so we will not see any head to head match ups, like 120 Central Carroll will need Hoffman to reach the finals and get his potential points in order to keep things close with Lovett.

Best 1st round match: #7 Moore (Sonoraville) vs #6 Hartlage (Madison Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #8 Spann (Bainbridge) vs #4 Anderson (N. Oconee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Adam Payton, Cedartown
2nd- Colson Hoffman, Central Carroll
3rd- Ely Raines, Chestatee
4th- Wyatt Anderson, N. Oconee
5th- Will Hartlage, Madison Co
5th- Steven Morales, SE Whitfield

Middleweights 138-165

The top 2 ranked guys were in the same Section at this weight at Jake Kennedy of Lovett was able to pull the upset with a 6-1 decision over Aiden Ingram of West Laurens.  However, it appears that his side of the bracket is full of a few more potential obstacles than the other side.  

Team Race: We could see a head to head matchup in the quarters between Kennedy and William White of Central Carroll, but White does have a formidable opponent in round 1 with Braydon Brown of Troup Co.  Central Carroll can't expect too many points at this weight, so any thing over 2 points will be a big boost.  Lovett needs for Kennedy to score in the upper teens or higher to maintain their cushion in the team race.

Best 1st round match: #5 Brown (Troup Co) vs #9 White (Central, Carroll)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Dietz (Heritage, Cat) vs #3 Mason (Cedartown)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Jake Kennedy, Lovett
2nd- Aiden Ingram, West Laurens
3rd- Gage Mason, Cedartown
4th- Jayden Hammonds, Southwest Dekalb
5th- Andrew Dietz, Heritage Catoosa
5th- Sean Goldsby, Luella


Like 132 things set up at 144 for a 3rd consecutive week of a repeat finals match.  Connor Free of North Hall has defeated Dom Lasher of N. Oconee each of the last 2 weeks, it was 5-0 in the Sectional Final.  The 3rd place finisher at this weight might also come from their Region as Hayden Biggs looks to be on track to finish 3rd for the 3rd consecutive week.

Team Race: Lovett does not have an entry here and Central Carroll has 4th ranked Owen Warren.  His draw looks good to push into the semifinals, but he will get the Lasher/Biggs loser in the conso semis and fall to 5th place.

Best 1st round match: #4 Warren (Central, Carroll) vs #14 Seitz (Trinity Christian)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Biggs (Cherokee Bluff) vs #2 Lasher (N. Oconee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Connor Free, North Hall
2nd- Dom Lasher, North Oconee
3rd- Hayden Biggs, Cherokee Bluff
4th- Aaron Parkey, Luella
5th- Devion Roberts, Burke Co
5th- Owen Warren, Central Carroll


The ranking fell all to pieces in this weight class during the sectional tournament.  Top ranked Moffett fell all the way to 4th at sectionals after losing in round 1 to Carleton of North Hall.  He would later avenge that loss in the conso semis, but it does give him quite a tough draw this weekend.  

Team Race: Central, Carroll will bring Sectional Champ Andre Sheffield to this weight and he should push through to the semifinals.  If he were to fall there against 2nd ranked JT Bowers of West Laurens, we could see a big head to head match in the conso semis with him and Nicholas Moffett of Lovett.  This bracket could go a lot of different ways depending on the outcome of those early round matches.

Best 1st round match: #5 Jachimski (Madison Co) vs #15 Johnson (New Hampstead)

Best Quarterfinal match: #1 Moffett (Lovett) vs #3 Dawkins (Walnut Grove)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Zeb Dawkins, Walnut Grove
2nd- JT Bowers, West Laurens
3rd- Nicholas Moffett, Lovett
4th- Jace Jachimski, Madison Co
5th- Andrew Sheffield, Central Carroll
5th- Laterian Young, Shaw


#1 Tim Dunn of Troup and #2 Joey Carew of North Hall met in the sectional finals, and Dunn picked up a 4-2 sudden victory win.  With the 3rd, 4th, and 5th ranked guys all failing to qualify, it doesn't look like there is much in the way of a rematch in the State Finals.

Team Race: Neither team has a qualifier at this weight class.

Best 1st round match: #13 Mitchell (Baldwin) vs #7 Argentis (Benedictine)

Best Quarterfinal match: #8 Reavis (Westminster) vs #10 Washington (Shaw)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Tim Dunn, Troup Co
2nd- Joey Carew, North Hall
3rd- Dharrin Smith, Southwest Dekalb
4th- Sam Reavis Wesminster
5th- Xander Argentis, Benedictine
5th- Jackson Moffit, East Forsyth


Defending State Champ Chris Mance of Lovett and returning State Runner-up Drake Wood of West Laurens were ranked 1 and 2 heading into last weekend.  Mance won by fall in the semifinals pushing Wood down to a 3rd place finish.  I can't really see anyone standing in the way of rematch between these two this week.

Team Race: Anything short of State Champion points will be a setback for Lovett, they do have enough of a cushion to absorb it, but if Central Carroll shows out in the lightweights, things could get dicey really fast.  Central, Carroll does not have a qualifier at this weight.

Best 1st round match: #8 Autry (Madison Co) vs #3 Burnecke (NW Whitfield)

Best Quarterfinal match: #7 Sajous (Hardaway) vs #5 Grant (Heritage, Cat)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Chris Mance, Lovett
2nd- Drake Wood, West Laurens
3rd- Skyler Grant, Heritage Catoosa
4th- Nick Morgan, Holy Innocents
5th- Tony Burnecke, NW Whitfield
5th- Bryant Barnes, Chestatee

Upperweights 175-285

4th ranked Jerrel Baskins notched upset wins over #2 Evan Wingrove and #3 Josh Fillingame to send both of those guys to the bottom half of the bracket with top ranked, Zeke Harris of North Hall.  Those results should produce some fireworks on the bottom half of the bracket in this weight.

Team Race: Central Carroll does not have a qualifier at this weight and Thomas Robinson of Lovett finished 6th at Sectionals and isn't expected to score many points with his brutal draw.

Best 1st round match: #7 Gibbs (West Laurens) vs #6 Junkins (Sonoraville)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Fillingame (Bainbridge) vs #2 Wingrove (Heritage, Cat)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Zeke Harris, North Hall
2nd- Jerrell Baskins, Southwest Dekalb
3rd- Evan Wingrove, Heritage Catoosa
4th- Josh Fillingame, Bainbridge
5th- Dirk Junkins, Sonoraville
5th- Daniel Soto, NW Whitfield


2x State Champ Landen Moss of Walnut Grove has been dominant all season long, and is the closest thing to a lock in all of 4A.  He is 43-1 on the season and he pinned his way through the sectional tournament.

Team Race: Neither team has a qualifier at this weight.

Best 1st round match: #10 Duggan (Cherokee Bluff) vs #4 Lane (NW Whitfield)

Best Quarterfinal match: #5 Pugh (Bainbridge) vs #3 Minor (Chestatee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Landen Moss, Walnut Grove
2nd- Triston Minor, Chestatee
3rd- Eli Lane, NW Whitfield
4th- Brian Pugh, Bainbridge
5th- Cooper Thomas, Westminster
5th- Tanner Ramm, Cairo


Warren of Walnut Grove and Kauffman of Lovett entered sectionals ranked 1 and 2, they met in the finals with Warren coming away with the 3-1 win.  Kauffman will have a tough semifinal opponent in Isaiah Scott of SW Dekalb, and if he can get by that match we should see a sectional final rematch.

Team Race: Another weight where Lovett is hoping for big points, and Central Carroll doesn't have a qualifier.  Even if Kauffman should slip up and fail to make the finals, he should be able to score enough on the backside to keep Lovett in the drivers seat.

Best 1st round match: #6 Mullins (Sonoraville) vs #10 Hudson (Troup)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Zaleta (Chestatee) vs #2 Kauffman (Lovett)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Parker Warren, Walnut Grove
2nd- Aiden Kauffman, Lovett
3rd- Isaiah Scott, Southwest Dekalb
4th- Daniel Zaleta, Chestatee
5th- Tye Bias, Hardaway
5th- Tristan Mullins, Sonoraville


Christian Bell of Lovett and Caleb Pruitt of East Hall are both 2 time placers and they both made the State Finals last season with Bell winning the Title at 220 lbs and Pruitt finishing 2nd at 285.  They were ranked #1 and #2 heading into the post season and they met in the semifinals at sectionals where Pruitt squeaked out a 6-5 win in overtime.  They are clearly the two best in the weight class, and should have a rematch this week.

Team Race:  While Lovett is looking for max points, Central Carroll has Kaleb Disharoon coming in ranked 4th.  Disharoon will probably meet up with Pruitt in the semifinals, and if he can somehow score the upset, things could get really tight in the team race.

Best 1st round match: #8 Battle (Mt Zion, Jones) vs #12 Dorsey (Burke Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Disharoon (Central, Carroll) vs #6 Brazier (Chestatee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Christian Bell, Lovett
2nd- Caleb Pruitt, East Hall
3rd- Guillermo Rosales, Johnson
4th- Donovan Funsch, Perry
5th- Nate Brazier, Chestatee
5th- Kaleb Disharoon, Central Carroll

Final 4A Team Standings

1. Lovett
2. Central, Carroll
3. Chestatee
4. North Oconee
5. Walnut Grove
6. North Hall
7. Southwest, Dekalb
8. West Laurens
9. Heritage, Catoosa
10. Northwest Whitfield
11. Sonoraville
12. Troup Co
13. Cedartown
14. Southeast Whitfield
15. Bainbridge