partlycloudy
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 1:58PM

Wrestling: Area teams gearing up for Duals

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
GAINESVILLE -- With the the 2013-14 wrestling season now in full takedown mode, the first major event looms just two weeks away.

The Area Duals meets will get under way beginning Jan. 4 in various gyms around the state, including northeast Georgia.

The Duals are different from the traditional meet in that team advance based on head-to-head team matchups, not individual wrestlers advancing in weight-classes.

The top two teams in each area meet will advance to the state duals.

Last year saw four area teams finish in the top eight in their respective classifications, with two champions, and one taking third. Jefferson (Class AA) and Banks County (Class AAA) each won state titles last year with Commerce finishing third in Class A, losing to eventual champion Gordon Lee in the semifinals. Chestatee finished in the top eight in a brutal Class AAAA.

Flowery Branch qualified in Class AAAAA but was not able to win a match.

This season, however, there are plenty of unknowns.

Jefferson again is penciled in as the favorite in Class AA but Banks County graduated several top wrestlers from last year's group. Chestatee also lost some solid wrestlers to graduation.

Chestatee coach Carey Whitlow said his group, which is coming off a tough win over West Hall on Tuesday, is expecting to return to Macon out of Area 8-AAAA.

"We definitely feel we can get back to the state duals," Whitlow said. "We need to stay healthy and not get pinned in the matches where we don't match up. That's how we beat West Hall. We had two backups out there and they were able to go the distance. One pin can make the difference."

The War Eagles are led by Austin Donaldson (126), Christian Zapatera (132), Trevor Comeaux (160), and Joey Meruelo at 220.

"Those guys have won tournaments this year so we feel we have talent up front," Whitlow said. "But depth is the key because you never know what can happen. Injuries, illness, all those things can come into play. We like our depth."

In Area 8-AAAA, Lumpkin County may be the early favorite with Chestatee, Eastside, and a resurgent Johnson all expected to challenge for one of the top two spots.

"It should be a very competitive tournament. But I think we can grab of the two spots," Whitlow said.

No other information could be gathered on other area teams as of publishing of this story.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bartus, Icemen shuts out Gwinnett
Garrett Bartus pitched a 42 save shutout, as the Evansville IceMen topped the Gwinnett Gladiators on a New year
10:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Gator Bowl Preview Capsule
A rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which Georgia won 45-31 in Orlando.
8:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Millsap's 34 leads Hawks past Celtics
Paul Millsap had season highs with 34 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 92-91 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday afternoon.
7:44PM ( 1 year ago )
Sports
Big Red Shootout: Buford foils Lady Elephants' upset bid in finale
Buford junior Camille Anderson knows to forget about the past during games.
11:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Boys basketball: Knights rebound with win over Centennial
The Johnson boys bounced back after a loss to Grayson on Friday with a 94-72 win Saturday night over Centennial in the Duluth Jingle Jam.
10:43PM ( 1 year ago )
Girls basketball: Dawson falls in Battle of States finals
Dawson County fell behind early and could not complete the comeback in a 70-65 loss to Hayesville, N.C. in the championship game of The Battle of the States Tournament Saturday night.
10:38PM ( 1 year ago )
High School Sports
Coach Quinn believes 1st NFL draft with Falcons a success
General manager Thomas Dimitroff and new coach Dan Quinn say the Atlanta Falcons got exactly what they were looking for on the last day of the NFL draft.
3:40PM ( 1 hour from now )
Golf: Red Elephants surge back to claim Invite crown over Marist
The Gainesville boys golf team staged a second-round comeback on Saturday to claim The Invite crown at Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville.
11:53AM ( 2 hours ago )
David Ragan ready to move to Michael Waltrip Racing
David Ragan’s tenure in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota comes to an end with the GEICO 500 and he’ll be moving onto his third team in 11 races—“a little weird, for sure,” he acknowledged—when the Sprint Cup schedule resumes at Kansas Speedway on May 9.
By Mark McCarter-NASCAR Wire Service
8:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
Reds notch 8-4 win over Braves
Jay Bruce powered two long triples, Marlon Byrd broke out of his slump and Zack Cozart had three hits to lead the Reds to an 8-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.
10:42PM ( 15 hours ago )
American Pharoah gives trainer a long-awaited 4th Derby win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three times in seven years, Bob Baffert left the Kentucky Derby empty-handed. Two seconds and a sixth-place finish by the wagering favorite.After a while, those close calls star...
9:28PM ( 16 hours ago )