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6A State Tournament Preview and Predictions

By Georgia Grappler, 02/15/23, 5:45PM 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.

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

9 of the 14 top ranked wrestlers won their Sectional Tournament

6A is an absolute mess, there are no dominant teams, and with the exception of a couple of weight classes, there are no "locks" for champions.  In some weight classes there aren't even "locks" to make the finals.  We are going to do our best to give a lay of the land, but this classification is so competitive, that there is no way to predict much of anything with a lot of accuracy.

Team Race: Brunswick, Glynn Academy, Jackson Co, Lassiter, Lee Co, North Forsyth, South Effingham, and Woodward all have a legitimate shot at winning the team race.  There are too many teams to highlight each one in every weight, but we will try and hit on the significant story lines for each weight.

The 6A State Tournament will begin at 1pm 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

Santiago of Effingham Co and Pacheco of Jackson Co were 1 and 2 heading into sectionals, and they met in the Finals.  Pacheco won that match by fall in the 2nd period.  If there is to be a rematch, both of these wrestlers will have earned as they will both be tested early in the bracket.  Santiago will need to get by Briesacher of Marist and Olade of Lee Co, while Pacheco would have to get through Fritts of Woodward and Warren of Creekview.

Team Race: Jackson Co has scorers, but not too many big scorers, so they almost have to have everything go right for them this week.  That all starts here with Pacheco at least making the finals.  Lee Co is exactly the opposite, they don't have many scorers, but the ones they do have will score big, if Olade can somehow make it to the finals, they could push for the team trophy.

Best 1st round match: #6 Bee (Glynn Academy) vs #5 Fritts (Woodward)

Best Quarterfinal match: #1 Santiago (Effingham) vs #3 Briesacher (Marist)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Jose Pacheco, Jackson Co
2nd- Karol Olade, Lee Co
3rd- Mal Santiago, Effingham Co
4th- Forest Briesacher, Marist
5th- Hayden Fritts, Woodward Academy
5th- Isaac Hoshide, Lassiter


McElligot of Lassiter and Augustyn of Woodward look to have separated themselves from the rest of the field as the year went on.  However, Ramos of Lanier has come on strong lately, and looked great in winning his Sectional after falling in the Region Finals the week before.  Tootle of S. Effingham was up there with the top 2, but stumbled a bit last week and finished 4th, if he rounds back into form, he too could be standing in the finals.

Team Race: A push to the finals by Augustyn of Woodward would be huge in there attempt to win the team Championship.  We could see a huge match with title implications in the blood round between Tootle of S. Effingham and Tabb of Lee.  Domynic Thompson will need to make his way to the podium for Jackson Co to stay in the hunt.

Best 1st round match: #3 Tootle (S. Effinham) vs #9 Herring (Woodstock)

Best Quarterfinal match: #2 Augustyn (Woodward) vs #5 Tabb (Lee Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Riley McElligot, Lassiter
2nd- Heath Augustyn, Woodward Academy
3rd- Tyler Ramos, Lanier
4th- Alexander Tabb, Lee Co
5th- Clayton Hicks, Brunswick
5th- Domynic Thompson, Jackson Co


Region 2 is absolutely loaded at this weight and they went 1,2,3, and 5 at sectionals last week.  I could see any of the 4 Sectional FInalists reaching the State Finals this week as the Champs, Nevin and Johnson are solid, but Kegley and Brickley are right there with them.  

Team Race: Lassiter and Glynn are the only teams in the hunt for the Title that can score big at this weight.  North Forsyth and Jackson Co would really be helped a lot if their entrants were able to find their way on to the podium.

Best 1st round match: #10 Reid (Alpharetta) vs #9 Santana (S. Effingham)

Best Quarterfinal match: #7 Jurovschi (Jackson Co) vs #3 Brickley (Lassiter)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Conner Nevin, Effingham Co
2nd- Hunter Kegley, Glynn Academy
3rd- Damien Johnson, Veterans
4th- Carter Brickley, Lassiter
5th- Reece Meyers, North Forsyth
5th- Josiah Boyden, Grovetown


Top ranked Tanner Spalding is one of the few "locks" in this classification, he should bonus his way through the entire bracket.  On the bottom half Cuttino of Glynn and Labasi of Sequoyah could put on a great show in the semifinals.

Team Race: Woodward will get theirs at this weight, but which other teams in the hunt will be able to score big points or pick up some surprise points.  Glynn needs Cuttino to continue his run from last week, and S. Effingham expects to get some placement points out of Stellhorn as well. 

Best 1st round match: #10 Jurovschi (Jackson Co) vs #9 Jarrett (Creekview)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Termini (Marist) vs #6 Stellhorn (S. Effingham)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Tanner Spalding, Woodward Academy
2nd- Jefferson Cuttino, Glynn Academy
3rd- John Termini, Marist
4th- Jacob Stellhorn, S. Effingham
5th- Jarion Jarrett, Creekview
5th- Jake Labasi, Sequoyah


Part 1 of Riley Brewer vs Josh Sanders lived up to the hype as Brewer picked up the 6-5 win.  Part 2 this week should be great, but it isn't a given by any stretch.  Brewer will need to get by either Castillo of Jackson Co or Cooper of South Paulding (That should be a great quarters match) and Sanders vs Bringer in the semis on the bottom half will be one of the best semifinal matches of the weekend in any classification.

Team Race: Lee Co doesn't have as many scorers as the other threats, so the ones that they do have need to come up big, they have to have Brewer in the finals.  Bringer is one of the big guns for S. Effingham, but they have a lot of fire power so they can survive a slip up from him, but he still needs to make the podium for S. Effingham to feel comfortable.

Best 1st round match: #4 Castillo (Jackson Co) vs #8 Bowyer (Tift Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Castillo (Jackson Co) vs #15 Cooper (South Paulding)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Josh Sanders, Sprayberry
2nd- Riley Brewer, Lee Co
3rd- Brandon Bringer, S. Effingham
4th- Ramon Castillo, Jackson Co
5th- Aaron Campbell, Creekview
5th- Kaleb Cooper, South Paulding

Middleweights 138-165

I HAVE NO IDEA!!!!!!!!!  This weight class is all over the place.  Take your pick,: Rhodes, Guy, Wood, Garrett, Counsel, Gunter, Yeager, Morgan, anyone of them could win it.  If you wrestled the tournament 5 times over 5 consecutive days, you would get 5 different Champions.

Team Race: South Effingham and Glynn Academy are the only schools in the team race that have a qualifier here.  Both are expecting to score placement points, which is kind of risky to rely upon due to the volatility of this bracket. 

Best 1st round match: #4 Castillo (Jackson Co) vs #8 Bowyer (Tift Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Castillo (Jackson Co) vs #15 Cooper (South Paulding)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Derek Counsel, Lakeside Evans
2nd- Cade Morgan, Glynn Academy
3rd- Thomas Rhodes, Roswell
4th- Peter Gunter, Sequoyah
5th- Eli Wood, S. Effingham
5th- Jack Garrett, Blessed Trinity


This bracket is a lot like 120 where any one of the Sectional Finalists could win the bracket.  Trevor Kantor of Blessed Trinity and Dmitry Vostrikov of North Forsyth both reversed Region Finals losses in the Sectional Finals.  Comari Cone of Brunswick is a darkhorse that could also push through to the finals.

Team Race:  North Forsyth and Brunswick both need big points at this weight if they want to maintain in the running for the Team Title.  S.  Effingham will continue to plug away and pick up points at a lot of different weights.

Best 1st round match: #9 Jones (Tift Co) vs #11 Lowe (East Paulding)

Best Quarterfinal match: #5 Heller (Marist) vs #4 Vostrikov (North Forsyth)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Trevor Kantor, Blessed Trinity
2nd- Samuel Gadsden, Lassiter
3rd- Dmitry Vostrikov, North Forsyth
4th- Mario Bolivar, Gainesville
5th- Howard Heller, Marist
5th- Gannon White, S. Effingham


The top 2 guys were in different sectionals and they both walked away with the Championship.  Karpinski of Pope and Seymour of South Paulding is the likely matchup that we will see in the finals, and it should be a great one.

Team Race: Woodward, North Forsyth, and S. Effingham are all in position to pick up big points here, and both Woodward and North Forsyth will need them if they want to catch up to South Effingham.

Best 1st round match: #5 Session (S. Effingham) vs #8 Connell (Lassiter)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Whitney (Habersham) vs #4 Henderson (North Forsyth)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Aidan Karpinski, Pope
2nd- Ryan Seymour, South Paulding
3rd- Justin Whitney, Habersham Central
4th- Christopher Henderson, North Forsyth
5th- Nicholas Sessions, S. Effingham
5th- Dylan Reel, Woodward Academy


Another weight class that is all over the place, you had the top 2 guys in the same sectional and they came away placing 3rd and who knows what will happen this week.  Riordan looked good in winning his sectional and his half the bracket is absolutely brutal.  

Team Race: Jackson Co needs Cepican to shake off his rough tournament from a week ago.  S. Effingham would love for Santana to stay hot like he was last week when he beat Cepican 7-6 in the semis.  Lee Co needs as many points as they can get from qualifiers outside of their champs, but drawing Cepican in round 1 is going to limit their points in this weight.

Best 1st round match: #6 Stewart (Houston Co) vs # 8 Spencer (Newnan)

Best Quarterfinal match: #1 Cepican (Jackson Co) vs #3 Riordan (Blessed Trinity)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Enrique Santana, S. Effingham
2nd- Blake Ethridge, Brunswick
3rd- Xavier Cepican, Jackson Co
4th- Thomas Riordan, Blessed Trinity
5th- Marc Mandt, Pope
5th- Michael Stewart, Houston Co


The top 2 guys at this weight are head and shoulders above the rest of the field, and they met in the finals at Sectionals last weekend.  Chilson of Lee Co pinned top ranked DeHaven of Woodward, and their rematch should occur this week in the State Finals.

Team Race:  Both Woodward and Lee Co have a very small margin for error if they want to track down S. Effingham.  DeHaven and Chilson must make the finals if they want to have a shot at winning the team title.  Chilson will probably have Tootle of S. Effingham in the semis, and if he were to drop that match it might be over for both Lee Co and Woodward in regards to winning the team race.

Best 1st round match: #11 Davis (Blessed Trinity) vs #9 Ramsey (Paulding Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #8 Benitez (Gainesville) vs #3 Tootle (S. Effingham)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Robby DeHaven, Woodward Academy
2nd- Aiden Chilson, Lee Co
3rd- Michael Hall, Alexander
4th- Ashton Tootle, S. Effingham
5th- Jamil Ramsey, Paulding Co
5th- Daniel Podewitz, River Ridge

Upperweights 175-285

Latrell Schafer is one of the top wrestlers in the State of Georgia regardless of weight or classification.  He along with Spalding at 126 are the two biggest "locks" in the classification.  Look for Schafer to have a sectional finals rematch in the State Finals against Lago of Etowah.

Team Race: An upset in the Semifinals by Verdirame would be huge for North Forsyth, either way he should score a good chunk of points for the Raiders.  Woodward could also score some big points here, and if they did it would come at the expense of North Forsyth with a Souder upset over Verdirame in the quarters.

Best 1st round match: #6 Spivey (Habersham) vs #3 Souder (Woodward)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Harvey (Blessed Trinity) vs #5 Hutchinson (Brunswick)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Latrell Schafer, Veterans
2nd- Joseph Lago, Etowah
3rd- William Verdirame, North Forsyth
4th- Sebastian Hutchinson, Brunswick
5th- Callum Spivey, Habersham Central
5th- Adam Harvey, Blessed Trinity


Top ranked Hacker of Johns Creek isn't quite a "lock" like Spalding and Schafer are, but he is the next closest thing.  He should roll into the finals where he will face either Palachi of Woodward or Kelley from North Forsyth.

Team Race: North Forsyth will need big points out of Kelley to maintain their spot in the team race, and Woodward is likely in the same situation, so their match in the semis will be huge in the overall scheme of things.  Jackson Co and S. Effingham are also counting on picking up placement points, but neither is in contention for picking up finals points.

Best 1st round match: #11 Martin (Houston Co) vs #8 Bentley (St Pius)

Best Quarterfinal match: #2 Byams (Marist) vs #3 Kelley (North Forsyth)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Brock Hacker, Johns Creek
2nd- Colin Kelley, North Forsyth
3rd- William Christmas, S. Effingham
4th- Simon Palachi, Woodward Academy
5th- Xavier Byams, Marist
5th- Ethan Logan, Jackson Co


The top 2 guys at this weight were in different sectionals and their Finals matchup might be the most anticipated Finals match in all of 6A.  #1 Lowe of Brunswick and #2 Bryan of Lee Co should be a phenomenal finals match between two wrestlers on teams that could be in the hunt for a team title.  

Team Race:  Both Bryan and Lowe need to make the finals for Brunswick and Lee Co to stay in the hunt, and North Forsyth needs Miller to score big points here as well.  No other teams in contention for the title will score many points at this weight class.

Best 1st round match: #9 Ketcham (Glynn Academy) vs #10 Soto (Tift Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Gibbs (Veterans) vs #5 Ogundele (Sequoyah)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Anthony Lowe, Brunswick
2nd- Weston Bryan, Lee Co
3rd- Gabe Gibbs, Veterans
4th- Collin Miller, North Forsyth
5th- Tayo Ogundele, Sequoyah
5th- Sky Niblett, Gainesville


Another weight class where just about anything can happen.  With that being said, a matchup between the two Sectional CHamps, Moss and Goodgame, would be phenomenal to watch.  Region 2 is absolutely brutal at 285 taking 1,2,3, and 5 at sectionals.  

Team Race: Woodward really needs Tate to make a return trip to the finals, without it, they will be hard pressed to catch S. Effingham.  Brunswick also needs huge points at this weight from Creel. 

Best 1st round match: #8 Vigil (Lee Co) vs #7 Evans (Glynn)

Best Quarterfinal match: #2 Creel (Brunswick) vs #3 Anderson (S. Effingham)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Albert Goodgame, Rome
2nd- Marquis Moss, Grovetown
3rd- Ashton Anderson, S. Effingham
4th- River Creel, Brunswick
5th- Isaac Hubert, Creekview
5th- Jaylin Tate, Woodward Academy

Final 6A Team Standings

1. South Effingham
2. Woodward Academy
3. Lee Co
4. North Forsyth
5. Brunswick
6. Glynn Academy
7. Lassiter
8. Jackson Co
9. Blessed Trinity
10. Veterans
11. Marist
12. Effingham Co
13. Creekview
14. Pope
15. Sequoyah