Georgia 2A Area 1 Season Preview
Team Race: 2A Area 1 has a solid group of teams that should make for a competitive in 2015-2016. Fitzgerald returns eleven with 2015 post-season experience from a team that finished 7th at the Traditional State Tournament and qualified for the Dual State Tournament. With four returning State Placers they would have to be considered the favorite heading into the season. Jeff Davis, who failed to qualify for the Dual State Tournament in 2015, but finished 6th in the Traditional State Tournament is nipping at the Purple Hurricanes heels. Davis returns three State Placers and five others that wrestled in the 2015 post-season. Vidalia, who qualified for the 2015 Dual State Tournament and finished 11th in the Traditional State Tournament, must do some rebuilding if they are going to challenge in 2016. The Indians return seven with 2015 post-season experience, but lose two State Placers from 2015. Keep an eye on Screven County and Berrian as well.
Contenders: Nine Area 2 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. State Runner-up Ethan McKie (106) is the lone returning Area 2 representative to have wrestled on Saturday evening a season ago. Expect McKie to be back in the finals and don’t be surprised if Jeff Davis’ Austin Herndon (4th at 120), Trenton Mathis (4th at 285) and Damon Upton (4th at 138), Screven County’s Julian Wright (3rd at 285), and Vidalia’s Devin Johnson (4th at 195) join him on the mats Saturday night. Fitzgerald’s Cameron Burnette (6th at 113), Markarious Lundy (6th at 195), and Morgan Mitchell (5th in 1A at 132) each have an outside shot at taking the top step as well.
Hunting the Podium: Seven 2015 State Qualifiers return in 2015-2016 and each will be looking to land a spot on the podium in 2016. Each will need to perform better if they are going to medal in 2016. Keep an eye on Benedictine’s Kado Dang, Jeff Davis’ Trayton Waters, McIntosh County Academy’s Jonathon Davis and Fitzgerald’s Dustin Armstrong, Landon Guy, Payton McKie, and Donterious Milsap.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Bacon County’s Drake Bloodworth, Benedictine’s Jack Carbery and Matthew Nyce, Berrian’s Dylan Diehl, Fitzgerald’s Markelyn Lundy, Jeff Davis’ Garrett Bryant and Kameron Wells, Metter’s Jordan Hackle, Pelham’s Austin Waters, Swainsboro’s Darian Kirkland, and Vidalia’s Reggie Lamb and Simon Minjarez.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.