Georgia 6A Area 6 Season Preview
Team Race: A fantastic area with some excellent teams and individuals. The 2015-2016 season should be a good one, as several teams will battle it out for the title. Chattahoochee, 2nd to Archer in the Traditional State Tournament and qualified for the Dual State Tournament, should be a team to watch. The Cougars may struggle to find wrestlers to replace 195 lb. State Champion Sean Hoffman and 120 lb. State Champion Jordan Pitt. How well the supporting cast behind Picus and Phillips wrestle will have a lot do with how successful they are this season. North Forsyth, which qualified for the Dual State Tournament and finished 12th in the Traditional State Tournament, returns thirteen including State Qualifiers Hunter Loyd and Cole Tenety. But North Forsyth and Chattahoochee might be chasing Lambert and South Forsyth in 2016. Lambert with returning State Runners-up Matthew Sheetz and Eric Diemert and twelve returnees and South Forsyth with 152 lb. State Placer Felipe Hayes and four State Qualifiers might be the two teams to beat. Keep an eye on Habersham Central and West Forsyth. Both teams have outstanding individuals and if they can get some production from the supporting cast, they also could be a threat.
Contenders: Area 4 really features seven wrestlers with a legitimate shot at claiming the top step on the final weekend of the season. Returning State Runners-up Eric Diemert and Matthew Sheetz of Lambert are back and are eager to take the top step in 2016. Both fell just short in 2015 and will look to avenge those losses and claim an individual title in 2016. Andrew Burpee of Habersham Central and Denver Stonecheck of West Forsyth each finished 3rd in 2015. It would be a surprise if that quartet weren’t wrestling for the title Saturday evening. Given the strength of the Area, State Placers Ethan Phillips (4th at 113) and Matt Picus (5th at 152) of Chattahoochee and Felipe Hayes (4th at 152) of South Forsyth will also be considered one of the favorites at their weight class in 2015-2016. It would not be a surprise to see five individual State Champions emerge from Area 6.
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. Centennial’s Grant Harney, Habersham Central’s Slade Jarrard, Lambert’s Eric Kohlins, North Forsyth’s Hunter Loyd, and South Forsyth’s Brennan McCrum each won matches at the 2015 Traditional State Tournament and represent Area 6’s best shot at having another wrestler on the podium in 2016. North Forsyth’s Cole Tenety and South Forsyth’s Jackson Baraff, Ben Lemay, and Sam Ranta could also find the podium. Each finished the 2015 State Tournament 0-2 and will need to wrestle better if they are going to medal in 2016.
Under the Radar: Keep an eye on the following wrestlers: Alex Rahm and Julian Monroe of Alpharetta, Nicholas Floyd of Centennial, Tyler Purdee and Christian Rodrigues of Habersham Central, Michael Banks of Johns Creek, Kyle Hall, Daniel Morin and Payton Mitchell of Lambert, Conner Carroll, Paul Watkins, Nathan Grimes, Justin Lioti, and Bradley Thomas of North Forsyth, Logan Troye of South Forsyth, and Hunter Jolly, Jacob Miller, Troy Crawford, and Jackson Walker of West Forsyth.
NOTE: Fred Jones (2nd, 113, Sr.) - meaning 2nd last season at the Traditional State Tournament at 113 lbs. Is a Senior in 2015-2016.