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3A State Tournament Preview and Predictions

By Georgia Grappler, 02/16/23, 6:30PM 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.

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

10 of the 14 top ranked wrestlers won their Sectional Tournament

Team Race: Going into the season, and even the post season, 3A was a 2 team race between Gilmer and Columbus, However, neither of those two teams did themselves any favors last weekend at Sectionals, as the both only qualified 7 wrestlers for the State Tournament.  This has opened the door for teams like Pickens, Pike Co, Bremen, and Lumpkin to be in the mix.  Whoever wins this team, will be the team that has the best day, not the team with the most qualifiers.  

The 3A State Tournament will begin at 8am on Friday (2/17) and the Finals will be held Saturday (2/17) morning at around 11:00am

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

One of the most anticipated Finals matches in 3A comes right out of the gates as top ranked Defending State Champ Rafael of Gilmer and 2nd ranked Sanchez of Coahulla Creek are on a collision course to meet up in the finals.  Sanchez could be tested in the semis by Karr of Bremen or Stanley of Pike, and Rafael looks to see either Butler or Rohrer on his way to the Championship match.

Team Race:  With only 7 wrestlers, Gilmer must maximize their points when they have the opportunity.  Pike could start to threaten the top spot if they can get higher than 5th in this bracket.  Ringgold and Bremen both would need to push into the finals to pick up more than their "expected" points at this weight.

Best 1st round match: #4 Rohrer (Ringgold) vs #10 Hendrix (Columbus)

Best Quarterfinal match: #5 Stanley (Pike Co) vs #3 Karr (Bremen)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Juan Rafael, Gilmer
2nd- Adonnis Snachez, Coahulla Creek
3rd- Elijah Karr, Bremen
4th- Zane Rohrer, Ringgold
5th- Ayden Stanley, Pike Co
5th- Miles Butler, Morgan Co


The top 2 guys at this weight met in the sectional final with Cooper of Bremen getting the 10-8 upset win over Persons of Columbus.  Look for these two to have a rematch in the State Finals this weekend.

Team Race: Columbus and Bremen will need to maximize their points here and make the finals, a loss by either team in the semifinals could be a dagger in their chances at winning the State Title.  Lumpkin is in the hunt but they have quite a bit of ground to make up, If Matthews could somehow find his way into the conso finals or even the finals, Lumpkin could really start to look like they have a chance.  Gilmer isn't expected to score placement points at this weight, so if Domingo can find his way on to the podium it would be a huge lift in their chances.

Best 1st round match: #7 Matthews (Lumpkin) vs #11 Yaworski (Stephens Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #5 Domingo (Gilmer) vs #4 Summey (LFO)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Greyson Cooper, Bremen
2nd- Mason Persons, Columbus
3rd- Davin Lightsey, White Co
4th- Gavin Summey, Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe
5th- Hunter Barber, Ridgeland
5th- Jacob Matthews, Lumpkin Co


Top ranked Farist of Gilmer fell 6-2 against 2nd ranked McDaniel of Columbus in the Sectional Finals.  We should see a rematch between those two in the finals this weekend.

Team Race: With only 7 scorers each, Gilmer and Columbus both need to avoid the upsets prior to the finals.  Jack Bell could really boost Pike's chances at winning a team title if he can find his way on to the podium.

Best 1st round match: #9 Kaczmarek (Upson Lee) vs #8 Scherer (Morgan Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #6 Kirby (Calvary Day) vs #3 Brown (Gordon Lee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Jonathan McDaniel, Columbus
2nd- Carson Farist, Gilmer
3rd- Landon Brown, Gordon Lee
4th- Harrison Krause, Hart Co
5th- Conor Kirby (Calvary Day)
5th- Danny Liddy (Coahulla Creek)


Gonzalez of Pickens and Autry of White county have met in the finals each of the last 2 weeks, with Gonzalez coming out on top both times.  They are the top 2 ranked guys in this weight, and if Autry can get past Pennington of Ringgold in the semis, they should meet in the finals for the 3rd week in a row.  

Team Race: Pickens has a legitimate chance to win the team title, but to do so, they are going to need all 4 of their big hitters to make the finals, starting with Gonzalez.  Gilmer needs Raymundo to make the podium here, and Ringgold needs to make the conso finals at least.

Best 1st round match: #12 Risner (Hart Co) vs #9 Raymundo (Gilmer)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Page (Franklin Co) vs #6 Goff (Coahulla Creek)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Dylan Gonzalez, Pickens 
2nd- Cayden Autry, White Co
3rd- Pierce Pennington, Ringgold
4th- Hunter Page, Franklin Co
5th- Dylan Ivey, Mary Persons
5th- Drake Goff, Coahulla Creek


Marshall of Lumpkin Co really threw a wrench in this bracket by knocking of Berry of Gilmer in the Section finals.  This puts top ranked Mastrangelo and 3rd ranked Berry in the same quarter, because Berry beat Mastrangelo in the quarters last week.  The winner between them this week will get 2nd ranked AJ Smith of Hart Co in the semis.  Marshall should meet up with Eavenson in the semis on the top half.

Team Race:  If Berry can beat Mastrangelo again this week, it could secure the team title for Gilmer, if the rest of their wrestlers can hold serve.  Ringgold got a tough draw for Hudson Moss and that will hurt their chances to win the title unless he can pull of an upset over Smith in the quarters.

Best 1st round match: #15 Douglas (Wesleyan) vs #8 Barber (Ridgeland)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Berry (Gilmer) vs #1 Mastrangelo (Bremen)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Gavin Mastrangelo, Bremen
2nd- Austin Marshall, Lumpkin Co
3rd- Andrew Smith, Hart Co
4th- Bregan Berry, Gilmer
5th- Kenly Eavenson, Franklin Co
5th- Omar Hayes, Morgan Co

Middleweights 138-165

Top ranked Jax of Pickens lost in the sectional final to Region foe Neilson of Lumpkin Co.  This puts Jax on the same side as 2nd ranked Baker of Lafayette.  If Jax can win that match, we should see the rubber match between him and Neilson in the State Finals.

Team Race: This is one of Pickens, 4 big hitters, they need for Jax to reach the finals and win it if they want to win the team title.  If Neilson fails to reach the finals, it will almost eliminate Lumpkin from any chance at winning the team title.

Best 1st round match: #9 Kinsey (Stephens Co) vs #8 Johnson (Bremen)

Best Quarterfinal match: #6 Izzo (Wesleyan) vs #2 Baker (Lafayette)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Phillip Jax, Pickens
2nd- Nathan Neilson, Lumpkin Co
3rd- Haygen Baker, Lafayette
4th- William Ballenger, Franklin Co
5th- Christopher Izzo, Wesleyan
5th- Luke Johnson, Bremen


Top ranked Tristan Busch of Ringgold knocked off 2nd ranked Jacob Baughcum of Franklin Co by a 9-4 decision in the sectional finals last week.  Baughcum will see Payne of Lumpkin in the semis, and Busch will see Woerner of Pike in the other semi.  We should see a sectional finals rematch, but I wouldn't count out at least 1 upset in the semis.

Team Race: With Pike and Lumpkin being underdogs in their semi match, it would be a huge boost for their team's chances if one of them were to pull an upset.  Gilmer really needs for Lucas to advance to at least the conso finals, but that will be tough to do with his draw. 

Best 1st round match: #10 Tredy (Ridgeland) vs #15 Boutwell (Peach Co)

Best Quarterfinal match: #7 Pasley (Adairsville) vs #5 Woerner (Pike Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Tristan Busch, Ringgold
2nd- Jacob Baughcum, Franklin Co
3rd- TJ Payne, Lumpkin Co
4th- Luke Woerner, Pike Co
5th- Jacob Pasley, Adairsville
5th- Luis Lucas, Gilmer


The potential finals match between top ranked Nathan Bowen of Oconee and defending State Champ Gage Lee of Pike Co could be one of the best finals matches in all of 3A.  Neither one of them looks like they will be pushed too hard on their way to the finals, so this matchup should happen.

Team Race: Pike Co has 10 qualifiers, which is more than anyone else in the hunt for the team race.  However, they don't have the top end guys that can make the finals, so Lee is super important in their chase for the team title.  If Baumgardner can upset Bowen in the semis, Bremen will pick up a few unexpected points, which could keep them in the hunt.  Lumpkin Co needs Holmes to continue his hot wrestling from last week if they want to climb into the discussion.

Best 1st round match: #3 Baumgardner, Bremen vs #9 Hurchinson (Ridgeland)

Best Quarterfinal match: #4 Lee (Pike Co) vs #5 Ledford (Lafayette)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Nathan Bowen, Oconee Co
2nd- Gage Lee, Pike Co
3rd- James Bumgardner, Bremen
4th- Christian Keheley, White Co
5th- Nick Kapherr, LFO
5th- Levi Ledford, Lafayette


This weight belongs to Anthony Manella of Mary Persons, he bonused everyone last week, and he very well could bonus his way to the State Title this week.  

Team Race:  The quarters match between Cannon and Jones will be huge for both Pickens and Lumpkin in the team race, the winner there will have a great chance at making the finals.  This one of four wrestlers that Pickens has to put in the finals if they want to win the team title, they have virtually no margin for error.

Best 1st round match: #4 Gordon (Pike Co) vs #2 Turner (Morgan)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Cannon (Pickens) vs #6 Jones (Lumpkin Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Anthony Manella, Mary Persons
2nd- Cason Cannon, Pickens Co
3rd- Cason Turner, Morgan Co
4th- Riley Gordon, Pike Co
5th- Brodi Rizzo, LFO
5th- Layne Vaughn, Gordon Lee


Wesleyan's Jake Neu knocked off 2nd ranked Eli Brown of Peach Co in the sectional final, so Brown is now on the same side of the bracket as top ranked Zillion Hammond of Monroe Area.  This entire weight class is truly wide open, as I could see 4 or 5 wrestlers with a chance to win the title.

Team Race: Pike Co could really put themselves in great position if Jack Barron could make his way to the finals on the bottom half of the bracket.  He could win the title, but he definitely has a tough road on the Championship side of things.

Best 1st round match: #11 Sherrill (Coahulla Creek) vs #4 Sanz (Jackson)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Brown (Peach Co) vs #3 Barron (Pike Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Zillion Hammond, Monroe Area
2nd- Jake Neu, Wesleyan
3rd- Eli Brown, Peach Co
4th- Jack Barron, Pike Co
5th- Elizardo Sanz, Jackson
5th- Grady Sanders, Stephens Co

Upperweights 175-285

Tyler Secoy is one of the top pound for pound wrestlers in the entire State of Georgia, he will have no problems winning his 2nd consecutive State Title and could bonus his way to the top of the podium.

Team Race: Pike Co could really benefit from Hammett scoring an upset in the semis to advance to the finals.  This is also a very key weight for Pickens, they need for Godfrey to pick up placement points, he will see Secoy in the quarters, so he isn't making the Finals, but he has to place if the Dragons are going to win the title.

Best 1st round match: #3 Brown (Lafayette) vs #6 Henderson (Bremen)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 Brown (Lafayette) vs #2 Simms (Franklin Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Tyler Secoy, Columbus
2nd- Brady Simms, Franklin Co
3rd- Jacob Brown, Lafayette
4th- Owen Hammett, Pike Co
5th- Christopher Morgan, Morgan Co
5th- William Godfrey, Pickens


With 7 former State Placers in this bracket, these predictions could go off the rails very quickly.  The two sectional Champs are the top 2 ranked guys in the weight, and I full expect to see Jacinto of Gilmer vs Fairbanks of Oconee Co in the State Finals.  

Team Race:  Gilmer has to have Jacinto make the finals, they have virtually no margin for error and this is one of their big scorers.  Pike Co really needs King to finish top 3, and Mike Nichols to make the podium.

Best 1st round match: #6 Long (Adairsville) vs #9 Lowery (Coahulla Creek)

Best Quarterfinal match: #3 DeBow (Wesleyan) vs #4 King (Pike Co)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Diego Jacinto, Gilmer
2nd- Zane Fairbanks, Oconee Co
3rd- Trent DeBow, Wesleyan
4th- Jakilen King, Pike Co
5th- Nathan Walker, Stephens Co
5th- Jaimon Long, Adairsville


1, 2, 4, and 5 all ended up in the top half of the bracket together.  Top ranked Kaleb Nicholson of Pickens vs 2nd ranked Garrett Short of Oconee should make for a great semifinal match.  On the bottom side 3rd ranked Caleb Turner of Morgan will more than likely face 6th ranked David Beverly of West Hall in the semis.  I fully expect the 2 Sectional Champs to advance to the finals.

Team Race:  Kaleb Nicholson could be the final piece of the puzzle for Pickens Co, if he can win it all, and the other 3 can make the finals, Pickens very well could win the State Title.  

Best 1st round match: #9 Soles (Lumpkin Co) vs #7 Lowery (Coahulla Creek)

Best Quarterfinal match: #5 Hogan (Monroe Area) vs #2 Short (Oconee Co) 

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Kaleb Nicholson, Pickens Co
2nd- Caleb Turner, Morgan Co
3rd- Garrett Short, Oconee Co
4th- Timy Duke, Gordon Lee
5th- Levi Lowery, Coahulla Creek
5th- David Beverly, West Hall


McGowan of Columbus and Trowell of White county are the top 2 ranked heavyweights in 3A.  They met in the Sectional Finals, and McGowan came away with a 1st period pin.  Both of these two should bonus their way to the Finals and meet again with a State Championship on the line.

Team Race: Ringgold is the only other team in contention that has an entry here that will score decent points.  Pickens has Max Marshall, but he has a pretty tough draw, if he can place it could push the Dragons over the top.

Best 1st round match: #7 King (Upson Lee) vs # 3 Creager (Calvary Day)

Best Quarterfinal match: #6 Talley (Ringgold) vs #8 Lowe (Gordon Lee)

Final Predictions:
State Champion- Tyranny McGowan, Columbus
2nd- JD Trowell, White Co
3rd- Chipper Creager, Calvary Day
4th- Quanterio Hyman, Hart Co
5th- Solomon Dupree, Stephens Co
5th- Travis Talley, Ringgold

Final 3A Team Standings

1. Pickens Co
2. Gilmer
3. Pike Co
4. Columbus
5. Bremen
6. Lumpkin Co
7. RInggold
8. Franklin Co
9. White Co
10. Morgan Co
11. Oconee Co
12. Coahulla Creek
13. Lafayette
14. Wesleyan
15. Gordon Lee