Georgia 3A Area 3 Season Preview
Team Race: 3A Area 3 features three teams that should battle it out for the opportunity to represent the Area in the Dual State Tournament, and have the best shot to break into the top 20 in the Traditional State Tournament. The Spartans of Glenn Hills are probably the favorites heading into the 2015-2016 campaign. They return eight, including 220 lb. State Qualifier Courtney Johnson, from a team that qualified for the Dual State Tournament a season ago and finished 32nd in the Traditional State Tournament. Laney and Westside are likely to battle it out for the other spot in Area 3. Westside qualified for the Dual State Tournament and finished 28th in the Traditional State Tournament a season ago, but the Patriots lost six that included State Placer Jonathan Tinoco and State Qualifiers Xavier Mack and Ife Onigbanjo. If they are going to return to Macon in 2016, they must get some new faces to step up and score points. Laney finished 45th in the Traditional State Tournament in 2015, but do return 220 lb. State Qualifier Sa’von Holmes and five others with experience. Can they book their ticket to Macon in 2016?
Contenders: With the graduation of Tinoco of Westside, Area 3 is devoid of any wrestlers that finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. Does that mean no one from Area 3 will grab the top step on the podium in 2016? No. But it does mean that no one from Area 3 begins the season as contenders for an individual title in 2016.
Hunting the Podium: Just two 2015 State Qualifiers return in 2015-2016 and each will be looking to land a spot on the podium in 2016. Courtney Johnson of Glenn Hills finished 5th in the 2015 Sectional Tournament and went 1-2 in Macon. He represents Area 3’s best shot of having a wrestler in the podium in 2016. Laney’s Sa’von Holmes finished 8th in the 2015 Sectional Tournament and went 0-2 in the State Tournament. He will need to wrestle better in 2016 if he is going to be on the podium in Macon.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Dominic Mastantuno and Nikolas Norwood of Westside, Gequan Fletcher of Glenn Hills, Naquan Anthony of Josey, and La’Xavier Twiggs of Laney.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.