Georgia Class 7A State Tournament Fan's Guide

 Photo Credit: Clarke Central

Photo Credit: Clarke Central

We are excited to bring you "A Fan's Guide" to the GHSA State Tournaments that are taking place this coming weekend in Macon, Georgia.  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.  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 most entertaining during the 1st round of action.
  • Darkhorse: A wrestler that did not finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in his/her section, but has all the tools to knock off everyone and take the top step.
  • Bracket Buster: A wrestler that finished 5th (or lower) in his/her sectional, but has the ability to be somewhere on the podium on Saturday evening.
  • Predicted Finals Match: Obviously who we believe will be in the finals.

A few notes before we have a look at each weight class.  First, we provide a copy of the bracket (a screenshot from trackwrestling) at the bottom of each "narrative".  Second, it is important to state that much of what is written below is not revolutionary.  It has some opinion, but is largely based on data.  We are limited in the amount of data we have because not every program in the state uses trackwrestling to provide results.  As a result, we collect tournament results throughout the season and pour over those results when trying to construct the Fan's Guide.  If wrestler x lost to wrestler y in a dual on a Tuesday night in late January ... it will not likely be reflected in the Fan's Guide. In the Tempest by William Shakespeare, Antonio uses the phrase "What's past is prologue" to suggest that everything that happened before now, has led to the opportunity that now sits before you.  As a result, we use a few #'s as context for why we have chosen certain wrestlers in the the categories identified above.  Remember ... this is not designed as a prediction.  Rather it is designed to help those sitting in the stands understand our great sport and what to watch over the next two days.

  • A Favorite will almost always be one of the two sectional champions ... and the list of contenders will have the other sectional champion and both sectional runners-up as well.  The list of contenders might include other wrestlers, but it will always include the sectional champions and runners-up. The reason ... 12 of the 14 2016 6A State Champions were Sectional Champions (Elias was a runner-up at sectionals at 160 and Bardall was 3rd at sectionals at 285).  In fact, all but 8 of the finalists last season were sectional champions (with many of the non-sectional champions being runenrs-up to the other finalist the week before).
  • North Forsyth's Jackson Bardall is a good example of a non-section champion or runner-up coming through on the biggest stage.  Bardall lost in the 6A Section A quarterfinals last season, but turned that around and took the top spot at the state tournament ... there is always a chance that a darkhorse will come through and win it all.

NOTE: I have tried to correct any incorrect names or grades, but I'm certain a few have slipped through the cracks.  Apologies for anyone that has incorrect information posted in the brackets ... the summaries are written largely from what has been produced in the brackets.  Also if an alternative has been included and a wrestler has been removed because of injury ... please keep in mind that it takes several days to write the Fan's Guides and we are unable to go back and check (and correct) anything updated after Monday.

Team

  • Favorite: 
    • Camden - The defending 5A State Champions (and the 2017 Dual Team State Champs) enter the state tournament with a full line-up.  All 14 of their wrestlers qualified for Macon and it is hard to imagine anyone else knocking them off this weekend.  Camden has been a force all season, having ventured south to beat Florida 3A defending State Champs South Dade, Florida 2A defending State Champs Brandon, and many other of the top programs across the southeast.  In addition to bringing a full line-up, the Wildcats had 9 Section A Champs from this past weekend (in fact 13 of the 14 either placed 1st or 2nd - with just one wrestler finishing 7th).
  • Contenders:
    • Tier 1
      • Archer, North Forsyth, and Mountain View make up our primary chase group.  None are expected to catch Camden, but they are the 3 teams with an outside chance to make life uncomfortable for the Wildcats.  Archer, the defending 6A State Champions, qualified 11 for this weekend's state tournament and crowned 3 sectional champions in Gavin Smith at 132, Logan Smith at 138, and Quinn Miller at 220.  Add in Will Choloh and Peter Myndresku and they have 5 with a legitimate shot at making the finals.  To put pressure on Camden (and hold off North Forsyth and Mountain View) they will need Garrett Hipp, Aaron Hunt, and others to find the podium as well.  North Forsyth also qualified 11 for Macon and had two section champs in Paul Watkins at 126 and Connor Cross at 195.  Cole Tenety was 2nd at 138 and the Raiders will rely on those 3 to help them hold off Archer, Mountain View, and others and put pressure on Camden.  If Walid Abdullahi, Conner Carroll, Andy Leggett, and others can find the podium, the Raiders could be #2.  Mountain View qualified the fewest of any team in Tier 1 with 10.  But they might have the best shot to take the #2 spot and pressure Camden for the top spot.  The Bears also had 2 section champs, Carlos Gonzalez at 106 and Chase Standridge at 145, but it is the 5 runners-up that make Mountain View a real threat.  If Steve Chavez, Leon Jarda, Jamar McEachern, Harrison Spikes, and Alex Standridge can join Gonzalez and Chase Standridge in the finals, the Bears will be awfully tough to beat.
    • Tier 2
      • East Coweta, Brookwood, Tift County, and Hillgrove make up our tier 2 pack.  The Indians of East Coweta qualified 12 for Macon (second just to Camden), but did not have a sectional champion.  Five of the 12 qualifiers finished 2nd or 3rd with the remaining 7 finishing 5th or lower.  If East Coweta is going to push for a top 3 finish, they must get points from the majority of their wrestlers.  Brookwood crowned just one sectional champion, David Key at 152, but had 11 qualifiers with 6 finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd.  They will need those 6 hammers and a few others to score if they are going to push for a top 3 finish.  Tift County also qualified 11 with 1 section champion, Dalton Burks at 160, but the Blue Devils sit in a slightly more precarious position than Brookwood.  The Blue Devils have just three wrestlers that finished in the top 3, so they will need some production from those that finished lower if they are going to make the top 5.  Hillgrove had the fewest # of qualifiers of any team in tier 2, with 10, but the Hawks had 1 section champ, Ricardo Atkinson at 220, and 3 runners-up.  They have the firepower to push for a top 3 finish if they can get everyone scoring.
    • Tier 3
      • North Paulding, South Forsyth, Collins Hill, Mill Creek, and North Gwinnett in our tier 3 group.  Each has some hammers and depth to push for a spot in the top 5.  North Paulding is led by Section Champs Bradley Bitting (126) and Jesse DeJames (152).  They will need Bitting and DeJames to lead the way, but must have Jake Starnes, KC Cline, and others make the podium if they are going to push for a top 5 finish.  South Forsyth had 1 section champ in Charlie Ranta at 138.  3rd place finishers Jackson Baraff, Ian Hunt, and Sam Ranta must push for a spot on the podium if the War Eagles are going to climb into the top 5.  Collins Hill might have the best shot of the tier 3 teams to find the top 5 because they have 4 wrestlers with a legitimate shot at making the finals.  Section Champs Lucas DeSilva (132), Tariq Malik (113), and Nathaniel Wellington (285), and Section runner-up Joey Felix at 106 give Collins Hill a real shot at finishing in the top 5.  Mill Creek has the fewest qualifiers of any team in tier 3, but should be able to rely on section champs Chandler Miele (160), and Dorian Piekarz (170) to score points.  North Gwinnett is the only team in tier 3 that doesn't enter the state tournament with a section champ, but the Bulldogs have 3 section runners-up that should make a run at a finals appearance on Saturday afternoon.  Keison Forte (182), Justin Lewis (160), and Rex McDaniel (120) must score points and finish high on the podium if North Gwinnett is going to be in the running for a top 5 finish.

106 lbs.

  • Favorite: Carlos Gonzalez (SR) - Mountain View
  • Contenders:
    • Nicholas Krug (SO) - Camden
    • Joey Felix (FR) - Collins Hill
    • Arash Mohebi (JR) - Berkmar
    • Walid Abdullahi (JR) - North Forsyth
    • Alex Martin (JR) - Brookwood
  • Best 1st Round Match: Chandler Swenson vs. AJ Riner
  • Darkhorse: Ricky Roberto (FR) - Hillgrove
  • Bracket Breaker: Collier Thigpen (SO) - North Gwinnett
  • Finals: Krug vs. Gonzalez
  • What to Watch: Gonzalez is a returning State Placer at weight, Krug has been impressive all season.  It seems very likely that those two are the most likely to advance through the bracket.  Krug has a couple of extremely good battles with South Dade's (FL) Bretli Reyna, one of the top 106's in Florida.  Gonzalez won the Bradley Central Invitational over Alabama 6A #1 Andrew Smith of Southside Gadsden and has nice wins over Felix and Martin, but Krug is another story.  That should be a good final, assuming they both make it through.  An Abdullahi vs. Felix quarterfinal could be fun to watch (Felix beat him earlier this season - I believe).  Mohebi lost to Martin earlier this season, so that quarter could be fun to watch - again assuming Mohebi can beat Burns and Martin can get past Thigpen.  Keep an eye on freshman Ricky Roberto of Hillgrove - he had a close 11-10 loss to Felix earlier this season.

113 lbs.

  • Favorite: Tyler Crew (SO) - Camden
  • Contenders:
    • Tariq Malik (SR) - Collins Hill
    • Steve Chavez (SR) - Mountain View
    • Christian Torres (SR) - South Gwinnett
    • Hunter Burns (SR) - Lassiter
    • Durrell Thompson (SR) - East Coweta
  • Best 1st Round Match: Reginald Allen vs. Ben Hardy
  • Darkhorse: Abraham Perez (SO) - Forsyth Central
  • Bracket Breaker: 
  • Finals: Crew vs. Malik
  • What to Watch: Crew and Malik are both returning State Placers and either could be considered the favorite.  Both finished 4th last year at 160, Crew in 5A and Malik in 6A.  Crew has just 5 losses on the season and each came down in Florida ... with losses to Florida 3A defending State Champ Elijah Varona, 2A State Champ Trey Lane, and the other to Georgia State Champ Kyle Gollhofer of Woodland (at Graves in Florida).  Don't be fooled by Malik's record ... he and the rest of the Collins Hill squad after traveled all over to get the best competition (with tournaments in South Carolina, Kansas City, etc.).  A potential quarterfinal match with 2016 5A 106 lb. State Placer Abraham Perez could be one of the best quarterfinal matches of the evening.  Keep an eye on Chavez on the top side and Torres on the bottom, both have the ability to make the finals.

120 lbs.

  • Favorite: Paul Watkins (SO) - North Forsyth
  • Contenders:
    • Brandon Orum (JR) - Camden
    • Rex McDaniel (FR) - North Gwinnett
    • Danny Nelson (JR) - East Coweta
    • Garrett Hipp (SR) - Archer
    • Ethan Willis (SO) - Hillgrove
  • Best 1st Round Match: Joelliuis Rodriguez vs. Matt Silka
  • Darkhorse: David Cartier (FR) - Roswell
  • Bracket Breaker: Willy Allen (SO) - North Paulding
  • Finals: Orum vs. Watkins
  • What to Watch: Watkins finished 3rd in 6A in 2016 (at 113) and assumes our favorite spot at 120.  Orum looked fantastic this past weekend en route to Section A title - beating Hipp 9-2 in the semi's and pinning Nelson in the 1st period in the finals.  McDaniel pushed Watkins for the top spot in Section B and should be considered a real threat on the top side of the bracket.  The McDaniel/Willis winner could give Orum a very tough semifinal match.  Watch the 3rd quarter of the bracket ... Nelson, Hipp, and Allen all could make waves and make the bottom semi opposite Watkins (assuming he makes it through his quarter).

126 lbs.

  • Favorite: Bradley Bitting (JR) - North Paulding
  • Contenders:
    • Lucas Nelson (SR) - Camden
    • Caleb Powell (JR) - Hillgrove
    • Keshawn Laws (SR) - Central Gwinnett
    • Sam Ranta (SR) - South Forsyth
    • Joel Winters (JR) - Brookwood
  • Best 1st Round Match: Joel Winters vs. Jonathon Sampson
  • Darkhorse: Drew Risley (SO) - Mountain View
  • Bracket Breaker: Blake Smith (SO) - Etowah
  • Finals: Nelson vs. Bitting
  • What to Watch: Tough to pick a favorite at 126.  Bitting, a State Champ two years ago and a State Placer last season, has just one loss on his record ... an overtime loss to 2x State Champ Bryce Davis of Creekview back in December.  Nelson, also a 2016 State Placer, has faced some of the best competition around and has largely come away with some impressive wins.  Bitting and Nelson cannot count on being in the finals ... 126 is one of the deepest weight classes in 7A.  Nelson beat Laws in overtime and Bitting downed Powell 1-0 last weekend to show that this could be anyone's bracket.  Keep an eye on a Ranta vs. Powell quarterfinal ... it could be one of the best quarterfinal matches in 7A.  

132 lbs.

  • Favorite: Gavin Smith (JR) - Archer
  • Contenders:
    • Lucas DeSilva (FR) - Collins Hill
    • Alex Standridge (SR) - Mountain View
    • Jackson Baraff (SR) - South Forsyth
    • Tyler Dahlgren (SO) - Camden
    • Jake Pratt (SR) - Tift County
  • Best 1st Round Match: Corey Barron vs. Hunter Kurowski
  • Darkhorse: Corey Barron (SR) - Grayson
  • Bracket Breaker: Alex Dobleman (SR) - Lambert
  • Finals: Smith vs. DeSilva
  • What to Watch: Smith, a returning State Placer at 120, gets the nod over the fantastic freshman, Lucas DeSilva.  I don't believe the two have wrestled this season and this could be a great finals match (DeSilva beat Hipp twice in the Collins Hill vs. Archer matches).  Keep in mind that neither has an easy road to the final.  Smith will draw either Barron or Kurowski in the quarters (he has beaten Barron, but in very close matches ... which Smith always seems to wrestle).  A Barraff vs. Standridge quarter should be a great one to watch.  Dahlgren of Camden downed Barron in the semi's last week before losing 3-0 to Smith.  But a Pratt quarterfinal could be tough (Dahlgren beat Pratt in the finals of the Area 1 tournament) and then the winner would likely get DeSilva.  Don't sleep on Spencer Dooley of North Forsyth (he was pinned in the first round of the sections, but fought all the way back to take 4th).

138 lbs.

  • Favorite: Logan Smith (JR) - Archer
  • Contenders:
    • Raydan Wilder (SO) - Camden
    • Charlie Ranta (JR) - South Forsyth
    • Aryaan Adams (JR) - East Coweta
    • Cole Tenety (JR) - North Forsyth
    • Isaiah Gadsden (JR) - Lassiter
  • Best 1st Round Match: Daniel Steele vs. Jack Woodall
  • Darkhorse: Kyle Brown (JR) - Peachtree Ridge
  • Bracket Breaker: Anthony Seager (SR) - Lowndes
  • Finals: Smith vs. Wilder
  • What to Watch: Smith, a 2016 6A State Placer at 132, downed Raydan Wilder, the defending 120 lb. 5A State Champion, in overtime in the Section A finals last weekend.  With that win, Smith assumes the "favorite" spot.  Wilder has had a tremendous season, with losses to some of the best across the southeast, and will be looking to make it two Georgia titles in a row this coming weekend.  Charlie Ranta looked fantastic en route to the 138 lb. Section B title over Cole Tenety of North Forsyth.  A wilder vs. Ranta semifinal seems likely, as does a Tenety vs. Smith semifinal.  Wilder cannot look past Adams, who lost in the quarters last week and then proceeded to reel off 4 consecutive wins to take 3rd and neither can Tenety who will likely match-up with Gadsden (who lost a narrow 3-2 decision to Ranta in the semifinals last weekend).

145 lbs.

  • Favorite: Denton Spencer (SR) - Camden
  • Contenders:
    • Chase Standridge (SO) - Mountain View
    • Peter Myndresku (JR) - Archer
    • Daniel Morin (SR) - Lambert
    • Reese Dalton (SR) - Parkview
    • Jake Starnes (SR) - North Paulding
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cory Hall vs. Rustem Kilic
  • Darkhorse: Hayden Suggs (SR) - Colquitt County
  • Bracket Breaker: Max Homyak (JR) - Etowah
  • Finals: Spencer vs. Standridge
  • What to Watch: A solid weight class that features some outstanding talent.  Camden's Denton Spencer has been all over the state podium, except for the top step.  He has been absolutely unbeatable this season and will look to take the title this coming weekend.  His performance last weekend leaves little doubt that he is the favorite heading into this weekend.  Suggs, Starnes, and Morin will look to derail him on the top side of the bracket, but that seems unlikely.  The bottom side features Peter Myndresku of Archer, Reese Dalton of Parkview, and Chase Standridge of Mountain View.  Standridge won the Section B in dominant fashion and should be the man to beat on the bottom side.  Dalton and Myndresku should "lock horns" in the quarters, but Dalton cannot look past a very good Max Homyak of Etowah.  Homyak, a 2016 6A 138 lb. State Placer, injury defaulted to 6th.  If he is healthy, he could be a bracket buster in the middle part of the bracket.

152 lbs.

  • Favorite: David Key (SO) - Brookwood
  • Contenders:
    • Jesse DeJames (JR) - North Paulding
    • Bryce Crew (SR) - Camden
    • Leon Jarda (SR) - Mountain View
    • Jose Gallegos (SR) - Lowndes
    • Ryan Hurd (SO) - Collins Hill
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cody Domingue vs. Cole Burke
  • Darkhorse: Ross McDaniel (JR) - North Gwinnett
  • Bracket Breaker: Garrett Klinger (SR) - East Coweta
  • Finals: Key vs. DeJames
  • What to Watch: 2016 State Runner-up David Key has been out for much of the season, but has come back with a vengeance.  Key had a fall, a 14-4 major over Gallegos, and injury default over Klinger, and a solid 6-3 win over Crew for the Section A title.  He beat Section B Champ Jesse DeJames in early January and should be considered the favorite heading into the weekend, but the path is far from easy.  2016 6A 145 lb. State Runner-up Leon Jarda of Mountain View is on the same side of the bracket and could pose one of many obstacles for Key.  A Hurd vs. Jarda quarter should be fun to watch (assuming they both make it there).  Klinger is a dangerous #6 after injury defaulting to the 6th spot ... the 2nd quarter of the bracket has been put on notice if he is healthy.

160 lbs.

  • Favorite: Dalton Burks (SR) - Tift County
  • Contenders:
    • Chandler Miele (SR) - Mill Creek
    • Anthony Carter (SR) - Camden
    • Gabriel Lee (SO) - Brookwood
    • Justin Lewis (SR) - North Gwinnett
    • Conner Carroll (JR) - North Forsyth
  • Best 1st Round Match: Brandon Mitchell vs. Devin Terza
  • Darkhorse: Brandon Mitchell (JR) - Archer
  • Bracket Breaker: Jackson Sledd (JR) - East Coweta
  • Finals: Burks vs. Carter
  • What to Watch:  Dalton Burks had perhaps the most impressive run to a section title last week in taking out Gabriel Lee of Brookwood and Anthony Carter of Camden in back-to-back matches.  Lee, a 2016 6A State Runner-up for Archer, and Carter have been near the top of the rankings all season.  Keep in mind that Burks lost to Carter in the Area 1 final a week earlier.  The Lee and Carter losses mean that a potential state final (on paper earlier this season) will take place in the quarters (assuming they don't look past Cline and Hill).  The winner will likely get Chandler Miele of Mill Creek in the semifinals.  The bottom portion of the bracket is the one to watch, with several great match-ups possible.  The top side features Burks, Carroll, and Lewis (along with several others that will look to take out the top group).  A Carroll vs. Lewis quarterfinal is another one to watch (Lewis beat Carroll 2-1 in the semi's last week).  Overall this is a very good weight class that should feature some excellent matches.

170 lbs.

  • Favorite: Bunmi Smith (SR) - Camden
  • Contenders:
    • Dorian Piekarz (SR) - Mill Creek
    • Jamar McEachern (SR) - Mountain View
    • Jhaquan Anderson (SO) - Rockdale County
    • Gavin Scott (JR) - East Coweta
    • Andy Leggett (JR) - North Forsyth
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jacob Johnson vs. Khiree Seabrook
  • Darkhorse: Will Kohlins (JR) - Lambert
  • Bracket Breaker: Khiree Seabrook (SO) - Discovery
  • Finals: Smith vs. Piekarz
  • What to Watch: Defending 5A State Champ Bunmi Smith enters this weekend as the prohibitive favorite.  Piekarz, McEachern, etc. have all had good seasons, but Smith has been wrestling on a different level.  Leggett, McEachern, Johnson, Seabrook, and others will all be a challenge to Smith reaching the finals, but the likelihood that any can upset Smith seems unlikely.  The bottom side of the bracket should be very interesting.  Kohlins is tough and should be a tough match for both Taylor and Piekarz.  The 3rd quarter of the bracket is probably the most interesting.  Scott, Bakhos, and Anderson have some solid wins and whoever matches up in the 3rd quarterfinal should make for an interesting match.

182 lbs.

  • Favorite: Eric Kohlins (SR) - Lambert
  • Contenders:
    • RJ Woodard (JR) - Camden
    • Keison Forte (SR) - North Gwinnett
    • Guillermo Luna (SR) - Brookwood
    • Tr'Sean Williams (JR) - Marietta
    • Desmond Dunson (JR) - Rockdale County
  • Best 1st Round Match: Daryl Conley vs. Brantley Little
  • Darkhorse: KC Cline (JR) - North Paulding
  • Bracket Breaker: Brantley Little (JR) - North Forsyth
  • Finals: Kohlins vs. Woodard
  • What to Watch: Kohlins, a 2016 6A State Runner-up, has been absolutely dominant this season and enters as the favorite.  Woodard secured 3 falls en route to the Section A title and should be considered a very real threat to take the top spot on Saturday afternoon.  Woodard path to the finals is far from easy with Coney or Little in the quarters and Williams or Forte as his likely semifinal match.  Kohlins looks to have an easy path on the bottom side, but there are several wrestlers on that side that could pull the surprise - starting with KC Cline of North Paulding.

195 lbs.

  • Favorite: Antonio Stewart (SR) - Camden
  • Contenders:
    • Connor Cross (JR) - North Forsyth
    • Chase Patton (SR) - Hillgrove
    • Charley Powell (SR) - Tift County
    • Matthew Key (JR) - Brookwood
    • Ian Hunt (JR) - South Forsyth
  • Best 1st Round Match: Joel Linares vs. Cole Anderson
  • Darkhorse: Cole Anderson (JR) - Roswell
  • Bracket Breaker: Myles Williams (JR) - Lassiter
  • Finals: Stewart vs. Cross
  • What to Watch: Defending 5A 170 lb. State Champion Antonio Stewart picked up right where he left off the 2016-2017 season.  He is unbeaten this season and has faced many of the top 182's in the Southeast.  Cross, Patton, Powell, and others can challenge Stewart, but he is definitely the favorite heading into the weekend.  The battle for the #2 spot behind Stewart should be fierce ... many of the contenders have faced one another this season and have taken turns earning wins.  It will be interesting to see how it all plays out ... keep an eye on Linares vs. Anderson, Feracho vs. Young and Key vs. Williams in the first round.

220 lbs.

  • Favorite: Quinn Miller (SR) - Archer
  • Contenders:
    • Ricardo Atkinson (JR) - Hillgrove
    • Nick Jarvis (SO) - Colquitt County
    • Harrison Spikes (SO) - Mountain View
    • Aaron Johnson (SR) - Kennesaw Mountain
    • Jalen Smith (JR) - East Coweta
  • Best 1st Round Match: Justin Oldknow vs. Tomari Fox
  • Darkhorse: Ezra Wallace (JR) - North Paulding
  • Bracket Breaker: Sebastian Legarra (SR) - Forsyth Central
  • Finals: Miller vs. Atkinson
  • What to Watch: The penalty of getting close, but not winning Section B is being put on the same side of the bracket as returning 6A State Runner-up (and 2015 State Champion) Quinn Miller of Archer.  Miller has been dominant all season and has suffered just one loss (to nationally-ranked Noah Adams of Independence West Virginia 3-0 in the finals of the US Army Indian Classic).  In an effort to illustrate his dominance all we have to do is look at last week's Section A Tournament.  He had 2 falls under 1 minute (including a pin of Jarvis in 45 seconds in the finals) and two technical falls (17-1 and 20-3).  That's not say that Aaron Johnson, Harrison Spikes, Justin Oldknow, and Tomari Fox don't have a shot on the top side, but whoever gets a shot at Miller will need to wrestle extremely well to get the win.  The bottom side features some excellent match-ups, but it looks like Atkinson has positioned himself very well by winning the Section B title last week. 

285 lbs.

  • Favorite: Nathaniel Wellington (SR) - Collins Hill
  • Contenders:
    • Andre Bissainthe (SR) - Camden
    • Will Choloh (JR) - Archer
    • Kobe Hicks (JR) - Hillgrove
    • Bryce Jones (JR) - Peachtree Ridge
    • Brian Merritt (SO) - Colquitt County
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jordan Reed vs. Hunter Jolly
  • Darkhorse: Sean Maginn (SR) - North Gwinnett
  • Bracket Breaker: Hunter Jolly (SR) - West Forsyth
  • Finals: Bissainthe vs. Wellington
  • What to Watch: Perhaps the most wide open weight class in 7A.  Wellington enters as the favorite after a nice win over Kobe Hicks to take the Section B title last week.  Andre Bissainthe stepped into the void filled by the graduation of Gabe Smith at Camden and had two falls and a 3-1 decision over Will Choloh in the Section A finals last week.  As many as seven wrestlers have a real shot at the top step.  Keep an eye on the following ... Reed vs. Jolly and Maginn vs. Lews in round 1; a potential Hicks vs. Jones quarterfinal match (Hicks beat Jones 3-2 last week) and both semifinals.  Don't be surprised if someone outside of the top names emerges as a surprise.