Georgia 5A Area 2 Season Preview
Team Race: Jones County looks to have a stranglehold on this area, as it returns four state qualifiers and a single state champion from the 2015 GHSA State Championships. The core of this team is seniors, and overall, they return 11 of their proven varsity starters from last year. 2015-2016 should be a great season for Jones County! Keep an eye on Greenbrier, Grovetown, and Cross Creek. They should battle it out for the second spot in Area 2.
Contenders: Returning state champion Torrez Finney (1st at 195) from Jones County is the class of this region, and is most certainly looking for a repeat of his state championship from a season ago. Cross Creek's Pierre Dowling looks to be the only other wrestler with a true shot at ascending to the top of the podium. Dowling finished 6th at last season's state championships, so expect him to have outside shot at taking the top step in 2016.
Hunting the Podium: Jones County has four returning state qualifiers in Daniel Curry (182), Darrel Duggan (170), Nick Nelson (138), and Sherrod Shahid (126) who are looking to follow their teammate as state place winners in 2016. Greenbrier returns three solid wrestlers with post-season experience in Daniel Fenske (132), Jarret Torres (106), and Sam Torres (126). Grovetown, Richmond Academy, and Warner Robbins each return one individual state qualifier who will be looking to prey on that podium this season in Jorge Malave (120), Adonis Appleberry (160), and Gerron Poston (120), respectively.
Under the Radar: Nate Wilkie of Greenbriar, Brandon Dowling of Cross Creek, D’Ante Smith and Ashar Evans of Grovetown, Tyler Dukes of Jones County, Joshua Castro and Jo’Quan Leverett of Lakeside Evans, and Kory Coppin of Richmond Academy.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.