Georgia 1A Area 2 Season Preview
Team Race: 1A Area 2 is really just a one-team race. Eagles Landing Christian is by far the deepest and most talented team in the area. ELCA returns four State Placers, including two Champions, from a team that qualified for State Duals and took 6th in the Traditional State Tournament. The battle might be for second in the area between St. Anne Pacelli and Brookstone. Pacelli qualified for the State Dual Tournament a season ago and took 12th in the Traditonal State Tournament, but they lost two important pieces in State Placers Tony Hall and Marcus Herrera. Brookstone, on the other hand, returns eight (or nine) from a team that took 17th in the Traditional State Tournament in 2015. Expect Pacelli and Brookstone to battle for the #2 spot behind ELCA. Keep an eye on First Presbyterian Day, they return 7 with 2015 post-season experience and could make things interesting if either Pacelli or Brookstone falters.
Contenders: Nine Area 2 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. Returning 195 lb. State Champion Griffin Alexander and 220 lb. State Champion Chase Burdette of ELCA return for another title. Don’t be surprised if Brookstone’s Dre Dashiell (4th at 170), St. Anne Pacelli’s Colin Mulvaney (2nd at 113), and Tattnall Square Academy’s Christian Rodgers (4th at 220), join Alexander and Burdette are at the top of the podium Saturday evening. Who knows if Burdette and Rodgers will be in the same weight class in 2016? Don’t sleep on State Placers Jack Ferguson (6th at 132) of Brookstone, Dalton Hardeman (5th at 170) and Trent Johnson (6th at 126) of ELCA, and Aaron Hilliard (5th at 138) of Tattnall Square Academy. Each has the ability to be on the top step as well.
Hunting the Podium: Seven 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: Aleks Slavich of Brookstone, Denson Martin of First Presbyterian Day, Brice Adams and Nick Weldon of Georgia Military College, Ryan Abrahams of Strong Rock Christian, and Josue Arroyo and Jake Dallas of ELCA.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following: Drake Vitelli of Brookstone, Dallas Hardeman of ELCA, Noah Cunard and JR Gumarin of Mt de Sales, and Tanner Hall and Ash Vestal of St. Anne Pacelli.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.