Georgia 2A Area 2 Season Preview
Team Race: 2A Area 2 has a solid group of teams that all should be competitive in 2015-2016. Six teams have nine or more returnees with 2015 post-season experience back in 2015-2016. Unfortunately for the group, one of those teams is State Runner-up Bremen, which returns twelve from a team that was dominant in 2014-2015. Dublin was the other representative from Area 2 at the State Duals and there is no reason to expect that to be different in 2016. Dublin returns nine, led by State Placers Cameron Mack and Quartarius Smith. Keep an eye on Chattahoochee County, East Laurens, and Heard County as well.
Contenders: Thirteen Area 2 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. That group is led by a host of Bremen wrestlers, including State Champions Austin Capes (113), Keegan Smith (106), Joseph Stroud (152), and State Runners-up Drew Cook (138) and Paul Robinson (285), and Heard County’s 220 lb. State Runner-up Matt Brown. Expect the six of them to be back in the finals on Saturday night. Don’t be surprised if Bremen’s Jacob Bumgardner (3rd at 160) and Chris Eriquezzo (3rd at 126), and Chattahoochee County’s Quantavis Rollins (3rd at 120) are also on top of the podium in 2016. Bowdon’s Hunter Jones (6th at 120), Bremen’s Noah Liles (6th at 170), Dublin’s Cameron Mack (5th at 113) and Quartarius Smith (6th at 145), East Laurens’ Zyshonne Holliman (6th at 182) and Austin Soles (6th at 152), and Temple’s Preston Decker (6th at 126) have an outside shot at taking the top step as well.
Hunting for the Podium: Four 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. All four went 0-2 at the State Tournament in 2015. Keep an eye on Dublin’s DeJuan Blackshear and Bryant Versprille, East Laurens’ Austin Lloyd, and Lamar County’s Cedric Dumas. Dumas and Blackshear both qualified last season as freshmen.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Bowdon’s Tyler Smith and Jacob Carroll, Bremen’s Jarvis Buffington, Chattahoochee County’s Christian Afoa, Crawford County’s Matthew Barajas, Dublin’s Jaquil O’Neal, East Laurens’ Bryce Robinson, Heard County’s Luis Vasquez, Lamar County’s Connor Eidson, Macon County’s Ken Joiner, Northeast’s Errie Riley, and Temple’s Jordan Decker.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.