A Fan's Guide to Georgia 6A-A Sectional Tournament at Mill Creek High School

We are excited to once again bring you "A Fan's Guide" to the GHSA Sectional Tournaments that are taking place this coming weekend across Georgia.  We are disappointed that the GHSA did not allow southeastwrestling.com to cover any of the events.  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 qualify for next week's state tournament.  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.
  • Predicted Finals Match: Obviously who we believe will be in the finals.

Team Notes: School (# = # of qualifiers, # = # of Area Champs)

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

Area 2

  • Alcovy (6, 2)
  • Lakeside, Dekalb (2, 2)
  • Lovejoy (7, 0)
  • Newton (8, 0)
  • Rockdale County (14, 10)
  • Tucker (4, 0)

Area 4

  • Harrison (6, 3)
  • Hillgrove (12, 3)
  • Kennesaw Mountain (8, 4)
  • Marietta (7, 0)
  • McEachern (9, 1)
  • North Cobb (1, 0)
  • North Paulding (10, 3)
  • Osborne (3, 0)

Area 6

  • Alpharetta (2, 0)
  • Centennial (3, 0)
  • Chattahoochee (5, 1)
  • Habersham Central (5, 1)
  • Johns Creek (2, 0)
  • Lambert (10, 4)
  • Northview (0, 0)
  • North Forsyth (13, 4)
  • South Forsyth (9, 2)
  • West Forsyth (7, 2)

Area 7

  • Collins Hill (9, 4)
  • Duluth (4, 0)
  • Meadowcreek (3, 1)
  • Mill Creek (10, 0)
  • Mountain View (13, 6)
  • Norcross (1, 0)
  • North Gwinnett (10, 2)
  • Peachtree Ridge (6, 1)

106 lbs.

  • Favorite: Bradley Bitting (North Paulding) - 1st @ 106
  • Contenders:
    • Tariq Malik (Collins Hill) - SQ @ 106
    • Payton Mitchell (Lambert) - 1st in Area 6
    • Carlos Gonzales (Mountain View)
    • Jordan Nelson (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Walid Abdullahi (North Forsyth)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Walid Abdullahi vs. Aaron Wilson
  • Darkhorse: Aaron Wilson (McEachern)
  • Finals: Malik vs. Bitting
  • Summary: Defending State Champ Bradley Bitting of North Paulding is not only the best 106 lber in this weight class or in 6A, but is the best 106 in the state.  It would have been nice to see a seeding and let Malik and Lambert battle it out in one semifinal to see who would get Bitting in the finals.  That isn't to say that is the way it will play out, but (on paper) Bitting, Malik, and Lambert appear to be the best of the group.  Keep an eye on Hillgrove's Ethan Willis and Mountain View's Carlos Gonzales.


113 lbs.

  • Favorite: Eric Diemert (Lambert) - 2nd @ 106
  • Contenders:
    • Paul Watkins (North Forsyth)
    • Kenneth Dodd (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Vinnie Rosatti (Kennesaw Mountain) - SQ @ 106
    • Tiryan Jones (Collins Hill) - 1st in Area 7
  • Best 1st Round Match: Drew Risley vs. Jacob Krueger
  • Darkhorse: Sam Ranta (South Forsyth) - SQ @ 106
  • Finals: Diemert vs. Watkins
  • Summary:  The Area 3 hammers should be watched.  Diemert, Watkins, and Ranta will all place and could do some significant damage on their way to the podium.  Don't sleep on Keegan Connolly, he survived Area 3 and should be considered a threat.  The best quarterfinal bout could be between Rosatti and Watkins - with the winner in the finals opposite Diemert.  Don't be surprised if a Area placer ends up on the top step in this bracket.


120 lbs.

  • Favorite: Todd Small (North Gwinnett) - 1st @ 113
  • Contenders:
    • Cole Tenety (North Forsyth) - SQ @ 106
    • Yadriel Gonzales (Mountain View) - SQ @ 113
    • Caleb Powell (Hillgrove) - SQ @ 106
    • Rodney Winston (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Jason Caldwell (Marietta) SQ @ 113
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jason Caldwell vs. Jonathan Sampson
  • Darkhorse: Jonathan Sampson (Peachtree Ridge)
  • Finals: Small vs. Tenety
  • Summary:  Defending 113 lb. State Champion Todd Small is easily the man to beat at 120.  The top side of the bracket will be fun to watch with a number of different wrestlers capable of escaping and taking on Small in the finals.  Powell's win over Caldwell actually hurt him in the bracket ... can't see Powell beating Small and being the finals, but Caldwell has a very solid chance of making that happen.  The best quarterfinal of the bracket might be between Tenety and Gonzales (Tenety beat him 5-0 earlier this year).  It will be interesting to see how Area 1 Champ Winston does ... Carnegie isn't a pushover and Caldwell is very tough.  All of that said ... don't sleep on Jonathan Sampson of Peachtree Ridge.


126 lbs.

  • Favorite: Codi Russell (Collins Hill) - 2nd @ 126
  • Contenders:
    • Andrew Burpee (Habersham Central) - 3rd @ 113
    • Tate Wells (Harrison) - SQ @ 120
    • Nick Newberry (Alcovy) - 1st in Area 1
    • Kyle Brown (Peachtree Ridge)
    • Dorain Paul (McEachern) - SQ @ 120
    • Spencer Dooley (North Forsyth)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Sulamaine Bangura vs. Wil Lester
  • Darkhorse: Wil Lester (North Paulding)
  • Finals: Wells vs. Russell
  • Summary: It is a shame that the GHSA doesn't seed the sectional brackets by the Area Champs.  Codi Russell and Andrew Burpee are the two best in the bracket and the pair will likely meet in the bottom semifinal.  Paul, who was 2 matches from placing at last year's state tournament, is going to be a tough out on the backside of the bracket (assuming he loses to Russell).  Watch the top side to see who emerges and be sure to watch the bottom semifinal (with Artigues out - it could be a preview of next weekend's state final).


132 lbs.

  • Favorite: Matthew Sheetz (Lambert) - 2nd @ 113
  • Contenders:
    • Spencer Wilson (Lakeside) - 4th @ 126
    • Stephen Hart (Rockdale County) - 5th @ 126
    • George Felouzis (Harrison) - 1st in Area 4
    • Chase Standridge (Mountain View) - 1st in Area 7
    • Ethan Phillips (Chattahoochee) - 4th @ 113
  • Best 1st Round Match: Oliver Thigpen vs. Riley Wheeler
  • Darkhorse: Riley Wheeler (North Forsyth)
  • Finals: Hart vs. Sheetz
  • Summary: As a fan, you should be treated to 2 fantastic quarterfinal matches.  Hart vs. Phillips and Sheetz vs. Wilson.  Not to take anything away from Felouzis and Standridge, but the winners of those 2 quarterfinal matches will likely be in the finals on Saturday evening.  Don't be surprised if the 2 that fall in those quarterfinal matches battle it out for 3rd and 4th Saturday afternoon.  Keep an eye on Standridge.  He has had a terrific season and will be looking to knock off one of the top dogs if given the chance.


138 lbs.

  • Favorite: Denver Stonecheck (West Forsyth) - 3rd @ 138
  • Contenders:
    • Tyrone Hearn (Rockdale County) - 4th @ 132
    • Alonso Reyes (Mountain View) - 1st in Area 7
    • Ryan Hurd (Collins Hill)
    • Nathan Grimes (North Forsyth)
    • Jake Starnes (North Paulding)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jovany Osuna vs. Jackson Baraff
  • Darkhorse: Jackson Baraff (South Forsyth) - SQ @ 132
  • Finals: Stonecheck vs. Starnes
  • Summary: Once again, the only 2 returning State Placers are on the same side of the bracket.  Stonecheck and Hearn should make for a very good semifinal, but don't sleep on Ryan Hurd of Collins Hill.  It will be interesting to see who emerges from the bottom side of the bracket.  Starnes qualified for the state tournament a season agao at 138, but the competition with Reyes, Grimes, Osuna, and Baraff shoudl make for a fan-friendly bottom side of the bracket.


145 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jesse DeJames (North Paulding) - 6th @ 132
  • Contenders:
    • Josh Parr (Peachtree Ridge) - 6th @ 145
    • Bradley Thomas (North Forsyth) - 1st in Area 6
    • Cameron Hudson-Scott (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Devin Terza (Hillgrove)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Ross McDaniel vs. Matthew Watkins
  • Darkhorse: Daniel Morin (Lambert)
  • Finals: DeJames vs. Parr
  • Summary:  A very even weight class.  DeJames and Parr have both demonstrated they can get it done on the big stage, placing in the 2015 State Tournament.  The next step is winning the sectional and putting themselves in the best position to make a run for the top step on the podium.  The group chasing them is all fairly equal and that could make for several exciting matches over the weekend.  McDaniel vs. Watkins got our nod for the best 1st round match, but that accolade could have gone to Terza vs. Morin, Parker vs. Jarda, or Anastasia vs. Nwagbara.  Interested in watching some very close matches that will likely come down to the final 30 seconds?  145 might be the best place to catch that action.


152 lbs.

  • Favorite: Justin George (Mountain View) - 3rd @ 126
  • Contenders:
    • Felipe Hayes (South Forsyth) - 4th @ 152
    • Brycen Colon (Kennesaw Mountain) - 6th @ 160
    • Chandler Miele (Mill Creek) - SQ @ 138
    • Zacc Palmer (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Conner Carroll (North Forsyth)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cameron Hill vs. Nic McClure
  • Darkhorse: Kyle Hall (Lambert)
  • Finals: Hayes vs. George
  • Summary: Picking a favorite between George, Hayes, and Colon is tough.  George and Hayes have looked phenominal so far this season and we could have easily picked Hayes as the favorite for a number of reasons.  Probably the biggest reason is that he is on the opposite side of the bracket from both George and Colon, but his potential quarterfinal bout with Miele could be difficult.  George will also have a difficult quarterfinal match and looks to have the toughest road to the top step of the 3.  


160 lbs.

  • Favorite: Marquel Broughton (Mountain View)
  • Contenders:
    • avion Askew (Collins Hill) - SQ @ 160
    • Brennan McCrum (South Forsyth) - SQ @ 160
    • Dante Lawhorne (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Charlie Barton (Harrison) - 1st in Area 4
    • Kaleb Sherman (Hillgrove)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Kaleb Sherman vs. Justin Lewis
  • Darkhorse: Justin Lewis (North Gwinnett) - SQ @ 145
  • Finals: Askew vs. Broughton
  • Summary: Before this past weekend's Area tournaments, our pick for favorite would have been Tavion Askew of Collins Hill.  But taking second to Broughton brings doubt.  Area 1 Champion Dante Lawhorne of Rockdale Coutny should be on the lookout for whoever he meets in the quarterfinals ... Askew or Andy Leggett of North Forsyth.  Don't be surprised if Area 6 Runner-up Kaleb Sherman is in Saturday morning's semifinals either.  On the bottom side of the bracket it looks like a battle between Brennan McCrum and Marquel Broughton.  Keep an ye on James Paul of Newton as well.


170 lbs.

  • Favorite: Matt Picus (Chattahoochee) - 5th @ 152
  • Contenders:
    • Jamar McEachern (Mountain View) - 1st in Area 7
    • Desmond Dunson (Rockdale County) - 1st in Area 1
    • Omari Hodge (Kennesaw Mountain) - 6th @ 170
    • Brantley Little (North Forsyth)
    • Tr'Sean Williams (Marietta)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tr'Sean Williams vs. Will Kohlins
  • Darkhorse: Will Kohlins (Lambert)
  • Finals: McEachern vs. Picus
  • Summary: According to our records, Jamar McEachern did not qualify for the state tournament a season ago, but given his performance so far this season ... he should be considered a threat to be near the top of the podium.  Matt Picus of Chattahoochee returns after taking 5th and is our favorite heading into the sectional tournament.  He shares the bottom side of the bracket with fellow State Placer Omari Hodge of Kennesaw Mountain.  Both are tough and that should make for a very good semifinal match (assuming they both advance that far).  Keep an eye on Brantley Little of North Forsyth, Tr'Sean Williams of Marietta, and Will Kohlins of Lambert.  Each could make life difficult on the top side of the bracket.


182 lbs.

  • Favorite: Michael Thurman (Alcovy) - SQ @ 182
  • Contenders:
    • eison Forte (North Gwinnett) - SQ @ 152
    • Eric Kohlins (Lambert) - SQ @ 160
    • Chase Patton (Hillgrove) - SQ @ 182
    • Harrison Spikes (Mountain View)
    • Chancellor Jones (Osborne)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Harrison Spikes vs. Logan Troye
  • Darkhorse: Logan Troye (South Forsyth)
  • Finals: Thurman vs. Kohlins
  • Summary: A quartet of 2015 State Qualifiers all will vie for the top step.  Thurman was the closest to placing a season ago, and has looked superb so far this season ... he is our favorite, but a case could be made for Forte, Kohlins, Patton or others.  Keep an eye on Harrison Spikes of Mountain View, Connor Cross of North Forsyth, and Chancellor Jones of Osborne.  There is no dominant group or individual, so this could be one of the more exciting weight classes to watch.


195 lbs.

  • Favorite: Carlin Powell (Hillgrove) - 2nd @ 160
  • Contenders:
    • Queryachi Taylor (Lovejoy) - 4th @ 195
    • Austin Brown (Mountain View) - 3rd @ 182
    • Hunter Loyd (North Forsyth) - SQ @ 170
    • Kamal Feracho (Lakeside) - 1st in Area 1
    • Chris Reynolds (Kennesaw Mountain)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tomari Fox vs. CamRon Carter
  • Darkhorse: CamRon Carter (Tucker)
  • Finals: Brown vs. Powell
  • Summary: A fantastic weight class for the fan to watch.  The action should come fast and furious at 195 and could begin with fireworks in the 1st round.  Don't miss watching this weight class from start to finish.  Lakeside's Kamal Feracho downed State Placer Queraychi Taylor in the Area 1 Finals last weekend, Brown and Powell (both State Placers a season ago) took care of business, as did North Forsyth's State Qualifier Hunter Lloyd.  The biggest uncertainty in the bracket is the top quarter ... the bottom side is stacked and should provide some great wrestling.


220 lbs.

  • Favorite: Aaron Johnson (Kennesaw Mountain) - 6th @ 220
  • Contenders:
    • Keythone Robinson (Rockdale County)
    • Brad Clayton (West Forsyth)
    • Ricardo Atkinson (Hillgrove)
    • Hector Mendoza (Meadow Creek)
    • Jordan Reed (Newton)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jordan Reed vs. Ezra Wallace
  • Darkhorse: Ethan Hale (Alcovy)
  • Finals: Johnson vs. Atkinson
  • Summary:  On paper, there is Kennesaw Mountain's Aaron Johnson ... and then there are the rest.  Johnson, the only member of the field to qualify for the 2015 state tournament, finished 6th at the 2015 State Tournament and is the prohibitive favorite heading into this weekend.  That's not to say that several of his challengers haven't had exceptional seasons.  Robinson, the Area 1 Champion, is 33-5 on the season, and Hector Mendoza of Mill Creek and Brad Clayton of West Forsyth each won Area titles a week ago.  Johnson's greatest challenge might come from Area 4 foe Ricardo Atkinson of Hillgrove. 


285 lbs.

  • Favorite: Darius Thomas (McEachern) - SQ @ 220
  • Contenders:
    • Nate Wellington (Collins Hill) - SQ @ 285
    • Kobe Gadson (Kennesaw Mountain) - SQ @ 285
    • Gordan Lewis (Lakeside)
    • Jackson Bardall (North Forsyth)
    • Hunter Jolly (West Forsyth)
    • Kmaron Patterson (Mountain View)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Nate Wellington vs. Kobe Hicks
  • Darkhorse: Kobe Hicks (Hillgrove)
  • Finals: Bardall vs. Thomas
  • Summary: The top side of the bracket is completely wide open with at least four wrestlers with a legitimate shot at being in the finals on Saturday evening.  The bottom side of the bracket features 2 returning State Qualifiers, Thomas and Wellington, but don't sleep on Jolly, Hicks, and others.  Don't be surprised if a wrestler that didn't qualify for the state tournament a season ago (and didn't win an Area title), ends up on the top step in 2016.