Georgia 1A Area 4 Season Preview
Team Race: 1A Area 4 has Commerce and then a host of other teams fighting for second. The same could be true in saying 1A has Commerce and then a host of other teams. Commerce has easily been the best team in 1A in recent memory and with the firepower they return it is hard not to see them assume that role again in 2016. The questions is who will grab that second spot in Area 4 for the duals and who from Area 4 has the best shot to finish high in the traditional tournament. Athens Christian Academy has three State Placers returning, Mt. Vernon has four, St. Francis has three and Towns County has three. Whoever can get the rest of their line-up to step up is most likely to assume the #2 spot behind Commerce in 2016.
Contenders: Area 4 is littered with wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, which have a legitimate opportunity to take home an individual title in 2016. In fact, eight of them captured individual titles in 2015. Commerce’s fantastic seven Brewer, Brock, Brown, Burchett, Chancey, Flint, and Mitchell Patton will be back looking to add another individual title to their collection, as will 145 lb. State Champion Zane Wolf of Athens Christian. State Runners-up Knox Allen (160) and Dontavious Mosley (182) of Commerce, Constantin Gavalas (170) of Mt Vernon, and Will Smith (106) of St. Francis will look to finish things up and capture a state title of their own. If that weren’t enough, sixteen other State Placers return to take another shot at capturing an individual title. Is it possible that Area 4 could capture all of the individual titles in 1A? Seems unlikely, but not outside the realm of possibility.
Hunting the Podium: With 28 Area 4 wrestlers that reached the podium in 2015 back in 2016, there simply isn’t much room for anyone else. The individual battles should be something to watch. Be sure to keep an eye on a handful of freshmen as they try to work their way into different line-ups and onto the podium.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following: Joseph Russell of Athens Christian, Dylan Deaton, Tucker Flint, and Nick Patrick of Commerce, Aaron Nalepa of George Walton Academy, Pierce Erhardt of Mt Pisgah, Akim Abdiyev of Mt Vernon, Matthew Fezza of St Francis, and Thomas Mitchell of Towns 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.