128 wrestlers that qualified for the 2019 Georgia 7A state tournament are eligible to return to make another run at the title (57.1%). That includes 7 that won state titles in 2019.
106 Connor Powell (Hillgrove)
113 Nathan Orum (Camden County)
120 David Panone (Lassiter)
132 Ben Williams (Milton)
138 RJ Weston (Lassiter)
160 Lucas DeSilva (Collins Hill)
170 Garrett Spikes (Mountain View)
We could take a guess regarding the weight class these wrestlers, and others, will wrestle this season … but it is a little early for that speculation. Let’s take a look at the other 7 weight classes and the top returner at those weights:
126 Clint Gilbert (Collins Hill) - 2nd
145 Rex McDaniel (North Gwinnett) - 2nd
152 Camron Starks (Brookwood) - 6th
182 Cody Herrin (Camden County) - 2nd
195 Kaleb Walley (Rockdale County) - 6th
220 Jonathan Chesser (Walton) - 2nd
285 Edward Pollard (Rockdale County) - 2nd
2019 State Placers and Qualifiers by Weight
This is the breakdown of those 2019 placers by weight class that are eligible to return.
Weight (# of Placers; # of Qualifiers) - Yes the Placers are counted twice (one as placers and once as qualifiers)
106 (4; 12)
113 (4; 14)
120 (3; 12)
126 (3; 10)
132 (6; 10)
138 (4; 9)
145 (3; 9)
152 (1; 8)
160 (2; 7)
170 (4; 10)
182 (2; 7)
195 (1; 2)
220 (2; 7)
285 (3; 11)
In looking a the #’s above … it is easy to see that 195 was decimated by graduation. Only Kaleb Walley of Rockdale County (who finished 6th) and Danny Lopez of Marietta (7th in Section A) return. Whereas 113 returns all but 2 wrestlers including State Champ Nathan Orum of Camden County), and 3 placers in Powell Gilbert (Collins Hill), Michael Roe-Deters (Woodstock), and Ethan Sellers (Colquitt County). Most weight classes have 3 or 4 placers that return and somewhere between 7 and 10 state qualifiers.
2019 State Placers and Qualifiers by School
Let’s look at this a couple of different ways …
First - Total # of 2019 Qualifiers eligible to return
Collins Hill leads the way with 7
5 teams have 6
5 teams have 5
4 teams have 4
The remaining 20 teams have anywhere between 1 and 3 … most noteworthy of that group is Hillgrove which has 2 returning qualifiers (a champ and a runner-up), Lassiter which has 3 returning qualifiers (2 champs and a 6th place finisher), Rockdale County which has 3 qualifiers (1 runner-up and 1 6th place finisher), Roswell which has 3 qualifiers (a 3rd and a 5th place finisher), and Woodstock which has 2 returning qualifiers (both finished 4th in 2019).
Second - # of 2019 Placers eligible to return
Collins Hill again leads the way with 5
4 teams have 3 placers
6 teams have 2 placers
What does it all mean?
Camden is the reigning champs and have held the 7A title for years … they enter the Georgia Grappler rankings at #1. With the graduation of so many Camden County hammers … this might be the season someone else steps in. Only time will tell. Most people (in a poll we did some weeks ago) believe Camden will reign supreme again in 2020 … and until there is evidence to the contrary that is probably the safe bet.
Collins Hill, #2 in the Grappler rankings, return 7 qualifiers (5 that placed) including 160 lb. Champ Lucas DeSilva. Whether Collins Hill can knock off Camden or not will probably come down to how well Powell Gilbert, Joey Felix, Clint Gilbert, and the rest of the Eagles wrestle. Brookwood, Mountain View, and Colquitt County come in 3rd-5th in the initial Grappler rankings. It will be interesting to see whether teams like Hillgrove, Lassiter, West Forsyth, Rockdale County, Roswell, and others can break into that top 5.