Georgia 6A Area 5 Season Preview
Team Race: Perhaps the most competitive team race of any area in 6A. 6A Area 5 features host of solid teams that could be hunting for an overall State Title if Archer weren’t in 6A. Perhaps the top team among the Area 5 teams is returning State Dual Runner-up and 6th place at the Traditional State Tournament Etowah. With seven returnees, including 182 lb. State Runner-up Bronson Rechsteiner, the Eagles have the depth and talent to be back in the hunt again in 2016. The battle for the #2 spot behind the Eagles could be interesting. Many of the teams (Pope, Roswell, and Woodstock) that challenged a season ago, lost a significant amount of firepower to graduation. Pope lost 41.5 of their 44.5 State Tournament points, Roswell lost all but 8 of their points, and Woodstock lost all of their points. That doesn’t mean those teams are out of the race, but it does mean that they will need to have new faces step up and score if they are going to be back in the mix again in 2016. Keep an eye on Wheeler. The Wildcats return all of their 2015 State Tournament points from a team that finished 34th. Led by 120 lb. State Placer Aslan Kilic, they have a real shot to knock off a few teams in Area 5.
Contenders: Area 4 really features six wrestlers with a legitimate shot at claiming the top step on the final weekend of the season. Returning 182 lb. State Runner-up Bronson Rechsteiner of Etowah and 120 lb. State Placer Aslan Kilic of Wheeler represent Area 5’s best opportunity at taking the top step in 2016. Both should be wrestling for the title Saturday evening and each should be considered one of the favorites heading into 2015-2016. Area 5 also features four State Placers, Jacob Speeth (6th at 138) of Cherokee, Blake Wilson (6th at 106) and Max Homyak (6th at 120) of Etowah and Roswell’s Cameron Whiteman (6th at 285) that have an outside shot at taking the top step in 2016. Don’t be surprised if one or more of that quartet is on the top step in 2016.
Hunting the Podium: Five 2015 State Qualifiers return in 2015-2016 and each will be looking to land a spot on the podium in 2016. Etowah’s Brandon Reibly, Pope’s Walker Yarbrough, Walton’s Chandler Deaver, and Wheeler’s Felipe Silva each won matches at the 2015 Traditional State Tournament and represent Area 5’s best shot at having another wrestler on the podium in 2016. Wheeler’s Rustem Kilic could also find the podium, but finished the 2015 State Tournament 0-2 and will need to wrestle better if he is going to medal in 2016. Also keep an eye on Robert Copenhaver of Roswell, finished 7th at Sectionals, but did not wrestle at the State Tournament.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Daniel Campagna of Etowah, Isaiah Gadsden of Lassiter, Abe Elias, Jacob Brenneman, and Mack Haskin of Pope, Cole Anderson of Roswell, Ethan Estes of Milton, Jake Hendon and Jack Smith of Walton, and Chris Gilmartin and Scott Thompson of Woodstock.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.