A Fan's Guide to Georgia 4A State Tournament

We are excited to once again bring you "A Fan's Guide" to the GHSA State Tournament that are taking place this coming weekend at the Gwinnett Center.  We are disappointed that the GHSA did not allow southeastwrestling.com to cover the state tournament.  As a result, we are unable to provide any pics or follow-up coverage after each sectional tournament.  Regardless, we are pleased to provide the casual fan an insider's look into each bracket and what may (or may not) happen over the course of the weekend.  We make no predictions about who will win or grab one of the few spots on the podium  For each weight class we provide a few bulletpoints to watch and then a copy of the bracket (which you can see for yourself on trackwrestling.com).  Each weight class features:

  • Favorite: Our favorite to win the weight class based on this past season and past performance.
  • Contenders: A list of wrestlers that should challenge the favorite for the top step on the podium.
  • Best 1st round match: The match we believe will be the closest during the 1st round of action.
  • Darkhorse: A wrestler that did not finish 1st or 2nd in his/her area, but has all the tools to knock off everyone and take the top step.
  • Bracket Breaker: A wrestler that finish 7th or 8th at the Sectional Tournament, but has the ability to be somewhere on the podium Saturday evening.
  • Predicted Finals Match: Obviously who we believe will be in the finals.

Individual Notes:  SQ = 2015 State Qualifier; 1st = 2015 State Champ; 2nd = 2015 State Runner-up, etc.

106 lbs.

  • Favorite: Koby Milner (Pickens)
  • Contenders:
    • Logan Ashton (Buford)
    • Jacob Taylor (Fayette County)
    • Luke Frost (Carrollton)
    • Matt Glenn (North Hall)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jake Boyd vs. Daniel Ruiz
  • Darkhorse: Dan Puac (Gilmer)
  • Bracket Breaker: Drew Muney (Whitewater)
  • Finals: Milner vs. Ashton
  • Summary: Milner enters as the favorite.  He is the defending 4A 106 lb. State Champion and easily handled the field last weekend in the Section B Tournament.  Milner tallied a 1st period fall, a technical fall, and two major decisions en route to the title.  His greatest challenge should come from the Section A Champion, phenomenal freshman Logan Ashton of Buford.  Ashton had 3 first period falls en route to the title. Taylor, Frost, Glenn and others are chasing the top 2, but it would be a surprise if it weren't Milner vs. Ashton in the finals Saturday afternoon.  Keep an eye on Dan Puac in the bottom quarter of the bracket.  His match with Milner in the 2nd round should be interesting.  Interested in a really good match in the quarters?  Watch the possible matchup between Frost vs. Taylor.  Muney is positioned well to be the bracket breaker.  That doesn't mean he will win his first match ... it does mean that he has a path that could result in a spot on the podium.

 

113 lbs.

  • Favorite: Andrew Pace (Marist)
  • Contenders:
    • Jake Lee (Sandy Creek)
    • Logan McGowan (West Laurens
    • Jason Higgins (Whitewater)
    • Dre Porter (Crisp County)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Mike Rietrib vs. Tommy Davis
  • Darkhorse: Anthony Thomas (Eastside)
  • Bracket Breaker: Jose Chavez (SW Whitfield)
  • Finals: Pace vs. Lee
  • Summary: Just like 106, 113 should come down to the top two from each section.  Jake Lee is a returning placer and is ready to make a run for the top step (lost to Milner a season ago at 106) and Pace has looked dominant all season long.  Both could be knocked off, but the likelihood is small.  Keep an eye on McGowan, Higgins, and Porter (the possible matchup between Porter and Higgins in the quarters should be fun).  Anthony Thomas has state tournament experience and shouldn't be overlooked by anyone in the bracket.

 

120 lbs.

  • Favorite: Cody Bond (Madison County)
  • Contenders:
    • Alberto Perez (Gilmer)
    • Bryan Gembe (NW Whitfield)
    • Cory Garrison (White County)
    • Augue Rodriguez (Locust Grove)
  • Best 1st Round Match: John Pedraza vs. Chase Seals
  • Darkhorse: Brennan Banks (Pike County) 
  • Bracket Breaker: Eric Goodson (Thomas County Central)
  • Finals: Bond vs. Perez
  • Summary: Returning 4A 113 lb. State Champ Cody Bond comes in as the prohibitive favorite.  Bond had 4 falls (3 in the 1st period) en route to the 120 lb. Section A title a week ago.  Perez, on the other hand, had to grind out a tough 5-3 decision over Northwest Whitfield's Bryan Gembe for the Section B title.  Keep an eye on the Banks vs. Gembe quarter and either could challenge Bond in the semifinals (assuming they all advance).  Perez will likely have to contend with the winner of the Garrison vs. Rodriguez quarter.  

 

126 lbs.

  • Favorite: Charles Thurman (Heritage)
  • Contenders:
    • Trevor Preece (Gilmer)
    • Reed Bethune (Marist)
    • Grady Pastor (Woodward Academy)
    • Matt Jenkins (White County)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Javon Jones vs. Jordan Hughley
  • Darkhorse: David Baros (Locust Grove)
  • Bracket Breaker: Robby Earick (Cartersville)
  • Finals: Thurman vs. Preece
  • Summary: Defending 4A 120 lb. State Champion was dominant en route to the Section B title last weekend.  Thurman tallied 2 falls before downing returning State Placer Grady Pastor 4-0 in the semifinals and pinning 113 lb. State Runner-up Trevor Preece in the finals.  Not to knock Matt Jenkins, David Baros or anyone else on the bottom side of the bracket, but it would be a huge surprise if Thurman weren't able to navigate that side at be in the finals Saturday afternoon.  The top side is another story.  Bethune was very tough in taking the Section A title ... except for one match where he survived a 2-1 decision over Javon Jones of Stephens County (someone he could meet again in the quarters).  The bottom quarter features Preece and Pastor ... that will be a great quarter and the winner is likely to get Bethune.  Don't miss the action on the top side.  Don't be surprised if Robby Earick surprises a few people in the 3rd quarter of the bracket.

 

132 lbs.

  • Favorite: Lucas Patterson (Gilmer)
  • Contenders:
    • Jacob Mariakis (Ridgeland)
    • Blake Beasley (West Laurens)
    • Bimysola Attobra (Lithonia)
    • Daniel Jernagin (Heritage)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tucker Witmer vs. David Sprague
  • Darkhorse: Grey Bethune (Marist)
  • Bracket Breaker: Caleb Sellers (Fayette County)
  • Finals: Patterson vs. Beasley
  • Summary: Returning 4A 132 lb. State champion Lucas Patterson is back for another run at the top step.  Patterson had a fall and a 12-0 major decision before being pushed in the semifinals last weekend by Caleb Sellers of Fayette County ... watch out - he is definitely a bracket breaker.  Patterson should take care of the bottom side of the bracket ... the top side, like 126, is another matter.  Beasley, Jernagin, and Mariakis all have the ability to get to the finals.  We have given the nod to Beasley because the round through the 2nd quarter of the bracket is extremely difficult.  Be sure to watch the top semifinal ... it should be a barnburner.

 

138 lbs.

  • Favorite: Marvin Cunningham (Chestatee)
  • Contenders:
    • Trent Ferguson (Buford)
    • Nick Voiles (Carrollton)
    • Gregory Pasquarella (Whitewater)
    • Dylan Jernagin (Heritage)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jake Murray vs. Ethan Teague
  • Darkhorse: Coty Carlock (NW Whitfield)
  • Bracket Breaker: Jeremiah McClendon (Troup)
  • Finals: Cunningham vs. Ferguson
  • Summary: Great weight class.  Defending 138 lb. State Champion Trent Ferguson dropped a tough 3-2 decision to State Placer Marvin Cunningham and now has his work cut out for him on the bottom side of the bracket.  Sewell, McClendon, Carlock, and Voiles make his path back to another final much more difficult.  Dylan Jernagin medically forfeited his semifinal match with Voiles and placed 3rd ... meaning a Jernagin vs. Pasquarella match should be a good one to watch.  Cunningham has to feel confident entering the tournament, but can't look past anyone in the bracket.  The Murray vs. Teague 1st round battle should be a great one to watch.

 

145 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jack Barber (Buford)
  • Contenders:
    • Keegan Sharpe (Gilmer)
    • William Ray (Walnut Grove)
    • Maxwell Duncan (Upson Lee)
    • Tucker Sippola (Carrollton)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Matthew McClellan vs. Jason Seeb
  • Darkhorse: Max Spearman (St Pius X)
  • Bracket Breaker: Matt Guest (Eastside)
  • Finals: Barber vs. Sharpe
  • Summary: State Placers Jack Barber and Keegan Sharpe both looked dominant en route the their Section Titles a week ago.  Barber tallied 3 falls before dispatching William Ray 5-0 in the Section A finals and Sharpe had 3 falls and a technical fall en route to the Section B title.  It would be a surprise if they didn't face one another in the finals on Saturday afternoon.  Be sure to watch bouts 4138 and 4139 ... those 2 quarterfinals promise to be fun for the fan.

 

152 lbs.

  • Favorite: Ben Deal (West Laurens)
  • Contenders:
    • TK Clay (Crisp County)
    • Cooper Roberts (Buford)
    • Ryan McGill (Ridgeland)
    • Jacob O'Neal (Locust Grove)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Grant Ledford vs. Matt Malcolm
  • Darkhorse: Jacob Pierce (Veterans)
  • Bracket Breaker: Trey Harris (Troup)
  • Finals: Deal vs. Clay
  • Summary: A pretty open weight class.  The pack racing for the top step is led by 2015 State Runner-up Ben Deal of West Laurens.  Deal had a fall and 2 major decisions before downing Buford's Cooper Roberts 4-0 for the Section A title last weekend.  Crisp County's TK Clay pinned Ryan McGill of Ridgeland in the final, but only after surviving a 4-3 decision over Trey Harris of Troup in the semifinals.  After finishing 6th, Harris is again on the same side of the bracket as Clay.  He is certainly a bracket breaker.  

 

160 lbs.

  • Favorite: Michael Carew (North Hall)
  • Contenders:
    • Zack Ramirez (St Pius X)
    • Cameron Butler (West Laurens)
    • Cole Ingram (LaFayette)
    • Henson Gibbs (NW Whitfield)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Musa Ali vs. Hunter Flemming
  • Darkhorse: KJ Bryant (Crisp County)
  • Bracket Breaker: Cody McKinney (Pike County)
  • Finals: Carew vs. Ramirez
  • Summary: Defending 4A 145 lb. State Champion Michael Carew of North Hall enters the tournament as the favorite.  Carew had 2 1st period falls, and a 14-0 major decision before he easily downed returning State Placer Zack Ramirez of St Pius X 8-0 in the finals.  Gibbs, Bryant, Bozian, McKinley and others will look to derail the defending Champ, but that seems unlikely.  The bottom side should feature some tight matches and excellent wrestling.  We expect it will come down to a semifinal battle between Ramirez and Ingram, but don't be surprised if Cameron Butler isn't in the mix as well (Ramirez beat Butler in last week's semi's 8-2).  

 

170 lbs.

  • Favorite: Dan Wornstaff (Pike County)
  • Contenders:
    • Nick Whitmire (North Hall)
    • Jaime Arroyo (Chestatee)
    • Keyontae Robinson (Upson Lee)
    • Jack Marsh (St Pius X)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tyler Storey vs. Ty Kight
  • Darkhorse: Jake Parker (Gilmer)
  • Bracket Breaker: Chris Bradley (Marist)
  • Finals: Whitmire vs. Wornstaff
  • Summary: No surprise that Whitmire is consider one of the favorites heading into the weekend ... where a state champ returns (in this case Carew) - invariably those wrestlers close to him in the room have very good seasons.  Iron sharpens iron has never been more true.  Whitmire looked great last weekend in taking the Section a title.  The returning State Qualifier downed 2015 State Placer Jaime Arroyo of Chestatee 4-0 in the finals.  Keep an eye on Jake Parker and Keyontae Robinson on the top side as well.  Wornstaff, a 2015 State Placer, was dominant en route to the Section B title last weekend (2 falls, a technical fall, and an 8-2 decision over Robinson).  Keep an eye on the 3rd quarter of the bracket with Arroyo and Marsh - either could give Wornstaff a great match in the bottom semifinals.

 

182 lbs.

  • Favorite: Matthew Waddell (Gilmer)
  • Contenders:
    • Isaiah Hale (North Hall)
    • Tyler Mobley (Locust Grove)
    • Kori Walker (Veterans)
    • Robert Larmore (Marist)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Matthew Cromer vs. Isaac Alarcon
  • Darkhorse: Michael Allen (Whitewater)
  • Bracket Breaker: Jordan Wiley (Madison County)
  • Finals: Hale vs. Waddell
  • Summary: Returning 4A 170 lb. State Champion Matthew Waddell of Gilmer has been dominant all season and there is little doubt that will continue this weekend (though it is important to not look ahead - see Waddell's teammate Seabolt at last weekend's Section Tournament).  Waddell looks great and it would be a surprise to see him lose on the bottom side of the bracket (but either Larmore of Mobley will look to give it a try in the semifinals).  On the top side Isaiah Hale of North Hall, 3rd at 170 in 2015, will look to dominate again this weekend and make an appearance in the finals.  Hale had 2 1st period falls and two decisions (7-1 and 5-0) en route to the Section A title.  It looks like a Waddell vs. Hale final, but don't be surprised if someone in the pack shocks everyone.

 

195 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jaquan Stinson (Howard)
  • Contenders:
    • Darrien Ingram (North Hall)
    • Jordan Lewis (NW Whitfield)
    • Jack Ness (Buford)
    • Bo Cummings (Upson Lee)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Ryan Crump vs. Stephen Kreyenbuhl
  • Darkhorse: James Teague (Whitewater)
  • Bracket Breaker: Kellen Haynes (St Pius X)
  • Finals: Stinson vs. Lewis
  • Summary: Returning 195 lb. State Placer Jaquan Stinson of Howard was ultra impressive in taking the Section A title a week ago. Stinson pinned 3 of his opponents and won by technical fall over Andrew Tempel in the 1st round.  To give you an idea of how dominant he was ... his 3 pins were over #2 Darrien Ingram, #3 Jack Ness, and #4 Cameron Self.  The bottom side of the bracket looks to be a barnburner with returning State Placers Darrien Ingram and Jack Ness and State Qualifiers Stephen Kreyenbuhl and Jordan Lewis (the Section B Champion).  

 

220 lbs.

  • Favorite: Chris Henderson (Ridgeland)
  • Contenders:
    • Eric Long (St Pius X)
    • Tim Hall (Cook County)
    • Randy Galvan (North Hall)
    • Monex Charles (Hampton)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jake Holman vs. Lazavier Moore
  • Darkhorse: Trace Folds (Veterans)
  • Bracket Breaker: Michael Farmer (Burke County)
  • Finals: Long vs. Henderson
  • Summary: Returning 4A 220 lb. State Runner-up Chris Henderson enters as the favorite.  Henderson had 2 falls, a 4-1 decision over Lazavier Moore in the semifinals and a 10-6 decision over Tim Hall in the finals.  Keep an eye on Holman vs. Moore in the 1st round - that should be a very good match to watch.  State Placer Eric Long won two very close matches to take the Section A title.  Long downed Monex Charles 3-2 in the semifinals and Randy Galvan 5-3 in the finals.  The potential matchup of Galvan vs. Charles in the 3rd quarterfinal is intriguing ... either one will give Henderson a good match in the semifinals (assuming everyone advances).  

 

285 lbs.

  • Favorite: Martez Hudson (Carrollton)
  • Contenders:
    • Levi Seabolt (Gilmer)
    • Joseph Horne (West Laurens)
    • Tanner Nance (Heritage)
    • Gabriel Howard (Howard)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cody Drake vs. Garrett McClure
  • Darkhorse: Hudson Newton (Troup)
  • Bracket Breaker: James Walker (Baldwin)
  • Finals: Hudson vs. Seabolt
  • Summary: A week ago I believe I said ... "Seabolt!  Enough said" or something similar.  Nothing like eating crow when writing a Fan's Guide.  There looked like no greater certainty in 4A than Seabolt, and once again we are reminded why we wrestle matches and not simply talk about who is best.  I wasn't there so I have no idea if Martez Hudson "caught" Seabolt and pinned him, was dominating him and then pinned him or what ... but in reality in doesn't matter.  After that performance Hudson has to be considered the favorite ... make no mistake Seabolt will look to avenge that loss this weekend.  The top side of the bracket looks very tough ... honestly the entire bracket is tough and is perhaps the best bracket in 4A.  For Seabolt to get another shot at Hudson he will likely need to beat Nance and Horne ... not an easy task.  For his part, Hudson will likely need to beat Newton and any of the 4 from the 3rd quarter of the bracket (all very good wrestlers).