Georgia 3A Area 4 Season Preview
Team Race: With twelve returnees, including State Placer Noah Kile (3rd at 120) and three State Qualifiers, Blessed Trinity is likely the team to beat in 3A Area 4. The Titans failed to qualify for the Dual State Tournament a season ago, but finished 20th at the Traditional State Tournament and appear ready to be even better in 2016. McNair and Westminster, both of the teams that qualified for the 2015 Dual State Tournament should be back in the mix again in 2015-2016. McNair, which finished 10th in the Traditional State Tournament, and Westminster, which finished 16th, return just seven wrestlers with post-season experience; fortunately, each team returns four State Qualifiers. Both teams will need to get some new faces to wrestle well if they are going to return to Macon for a shot at the Dual Title. Don’t sleep on Decatur, they return nine with post-season experience, including State Qualifier Kaden Spann.
Contenders: Gone are seven Area 4 wrestlers that climbed onto the podium in 2015, including 152 lb. State Champion Jamaal Deng and 220 lb. State Runner-up Derek Clayton of McNair. The lone returning State Placer from Area 4 is Noah Kile of Blessed Trinity. Kile’s only loss at last year’s State Tournament was in the semifinals to eventual Champion Ben Kelly of Jefferson. Kile represents the Area’s best shot at being on the top step in 2016.
Hunting the Podium: Twelve 2015 State Qualifiers return in 2015-2016 and each will be looking to land a spot on the podium in 2016. Each has a great shot of earning a medal, having been to Macon in 2015, but given their 2015 performance, it appears James Hawkins, Huiet Joseph, and Ian Spitler of Blessed Trinity, Kaden Spann of Decatur, Terron Hairston, Ronald Ragland, Terrance Perdue, and Tyrese Perdue of McNair, and Andrew Taylor of Westminster are the most likely to be on the podium. Keep an eye on Westminster’s Ryan Cha, Jack Polhemus, and Tillman Chestnutt. Each struggled at the 2015 State Tournament, but expect that to change in 2016.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Daniel Fulcher and James Humphrey of Blessed Trinity, Mathew Gilchrist and Deondre Wilson of Decatur, and Ru Usey of Westminster.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.