The GHSA Team Dual Wrestling State Championships return to the Macon Centreplex Jan. 12-14 where seven classifications will crown state champs for the first time in state history. This shuffling and reclassification shakes up the field a year after Georgia saw all six of its reigning champs successfully defend titles at the team duals. That was the first time in state history that the defending champs swept the podium.
In Class 7A, Archer aims for the program’s fifth state title after claiming the past four in Class 6A. Keith Jannett took over the Tigers’ head coaching duties this season and the tradition of dominance has continued. Archer cruised in the Area 8 Duals this week, scoring a 74-5 win over Newton and a 58-6 finish over Rockdale County. Quinn Miller has emerged as one of the top wrestlers in the nation and he helps anchor Archer’s lineup at 220 pounds.
Inclement weather pushed the Area Duals back to Tuesday for many of the Metro-Atlanta and North Georgia regions, including Area 2 in Class 7A. Newnan hosted a field that included East Coweta, which earned an eighth-place finish in the Takedown Sportswear Invite this season, in Tuesday’s Area Duals. Camden County strengthens the 7A field as a championship program.
In Class 6A, state title hunter Pope leads the field. The Greyhounds are aiming for their first dual state title since capturing back to back Class 5A state crowns in 2013-14.
Class 5A joins Class 3A as the only field of teams this weekend without a defending champ taking the mat and will be one of the most exciting classifications to keep track of. Union Grove edged Ola for first place in the Area 4 duals and Heritage-Conyers earned a 45-33 win over Greenbrier to capture Area 3. Whitewater, a 2009 state champion in Class 4A, represents Area 3 with Starr’s Mill. 2014 Class 3A state champion Buford represents Area 8 and is a favorite after falling short to powerhouse Gilmer during its two-year stint in Class 4A.
Speaking of 4A, Gilmer aims for its fifth straight title this weekend, as well as the program’s eighth consecutive state crown and its 10th all-time dual title. The Bobcats, however, will be met by one of the only programs in the state that can boast a more impressive resume after the reclassification. Fifteen-time defending dual state champion Jefferson was moved up to Class 4A and will go head-to-head with Gilmer in a hardware-heavy field.
UP FOR GRABS
Jefferson’s jump to 4A leaves a vacancy in Class 3A where Bremen arrives from Class 2A with a chance to compete for the program’s first dual state title since completing a three-peat in Class A (2009-2011). Those three state titles came the year after Jefferson left the Blue Devils’ classification for Class 2A and history could favor Bremen since its move to Class 3A also avoids powerhouse Social Circle.
Class 2A is led by the back-to-back dual champion Social Circle Redskins, which edged Bremen 34-31 for last year’s title. Commerce aims for a fourth straight state title in Class A after cruising past Mt. Zion 54-15 in last year’s finals.