Georgia 4A Area 2 Season Preview
Team Race: Perry, which qualified for the Dual State Tournament and finished 26th at the Traditional State Tournament, might be on the outside looking in in 2016. The Panthers must find a way to replace 152 lb. State Runner-up Derekston Williams and State Qualifier Dallas Ray. If they cannot, it will likely be a three-team race between Pike County, Dual State Qualifier and 25th at the Traditional Tournament, Upson Lee and Veterans. Each has their strengths and each has some challenges to overcome if they are going to excel in 2015-2016. Pike County should be considered one of the favorites based on the return of 170 lb. State Placer Daniel Wornstaff and State Qualifiers Brennan Banks and Lucas Riberio. Someone could easily make the point that Veterans is the favorite based on the return of 220 lb. State Placer Tracey Folds and three State Qualifiers. Upson Lee returns the most wrestlers with post-season experience and will look to State Qualifiers Lazavier Moore and Kolby Schadenberg to lead the way. Regardless of who emerges, Area 2 should have some good battles before the season concludes. Keep an eye on Baldwin and Spalding. They could make things interesting for the front-runners.
Contenders: Just two Area 2 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Macon. Pike County’s Daniel Wornstaff (5th at 170) and Veterans’ Tracey Folds (6th at 220) will look to climb the podium and take home the individual title in 2016.
Hunting the Podium: Nine 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 Pike County’s Brennan Banks and Lucas Riberio, Spalding’s Keytonae Robinson, Upson-Lee’s Lazavier Moore and Kolby Schadenberg, and Veterans’ Zack Ussery are the most likely to be on the podium. Keep an eye on James Walker of Baldwin, and Dawson Stephens and Ty’Korious Walker of Veterans. Each struggled at the 2015 State Tournament, but expect that to change in 2016.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Derek Villareal, Cameron Sparks, Chy-Kia Chatman, Dorean Cosby and Duane Daniels of Baldwin, Cameron Hope of Griffin, Caleb Battles, Izaiah Tooks, and Adam Parker of Perry, David Draime, Ryan Hood, and Dominique Stuckey of Upson-Lee, and Jeffrey Gordon and Christian Hughes of Veterans.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.