Georgia 1A Area 1 Season Preview
Team Race: 1A Area 1 should feature a really good battle between Turner County and Treutlen. Turner County took 3rd in the State Duals, downing Trion 34-27, and finished 11th in the Traditional State Tournament. Unfortunately for the Rebels they will be looking to replace four State Qualifiers, including 160 lb. State Champion Malik Holley. Treutlen, on the other hand, finished 3rd in the Traditional State Tournament, but failed to place in the Dual State Tournament. The Vikings are also tasked with replacing two State Placers in Jaterrias Dudley and Cody Love. Those losses will keep things interesting in the team race as both of the top teams will look to some new faces to step in and carry some of the load. Keep an eye on Irwin County, and Telfair County, both teams return 7 with 2015 post-season experience.
Contenders: Thirteen Area 1 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. The group is led by State Runner-up DJ Pollard of Irwin County (145). Expect Pollard to be back in the finals on Saturday night and don’t be surprised if he is joined by Savannah Christian’s Ben Jackson (4th at 160), Turner County’s Demetrice Smith (4th at 145), and Treutlen’s Payton Brooks (3rd at 106), Tyson Brooks (3rd at 113), and Cody Calhoun (3rd at 195). Irwin County’s Nathan Tucker (5th at 195), Treutlen’s Bryson Wilcher (6th at 152), Telfair County’s Ian Blankenship (6th at 160) and Tyrese Ellis (6th at 285), and Turner County’s Chandler Crawford (6th at 106), John Ellis (6th at 120), and Jared Knight (6th at 182) have an outside shot at taking the top step.
Hunting the Podium: Eight area wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament in 2015, but failed to make the podium. Keep an eye on them; they most certainly will be looking to be on the podium in 2016. They include: Elijah Harris of Calvary Day, Kyle Jones of Irwin County, Josh Kelley of Savannah Christian, Devon Hulett and Camry Johnson of Telfair County, Trent Morris of Treutlen County, and Deontae Crocket and Quiyon Ezell of Turner County.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following: Brent Sanders of Calvary Day, Isaac Gillis of Charlton County, Kerick Boone, Tristan Billingsley, and Zyon Ross of Irwin County, David Pelkey and Charles Turner of Savannah Christian, and Luis Rosario of Telfair County, and Isaac Holton of Treutlen County.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.