Because of the delay, the championships have been divided by classifications across different locations.
Class AAAAAA will compete at Chattahoochee High School, while Class AAAAA will compete at Loganville. The first two rounds will be held today, with the tournament concluding Saturday.
Creekview will have 10 wrestlers competing in Class AAAAA — the largest number of any of the schools represented. The Grizzlies’ Region 7AAAAA rivals, Cambridge and Pope, will each have nine wrestlers, as will Ware County.
Creekview coach Wyatt Wilkie said it isn’t merely about the number of wrestlers at the meet, but how they do in their weight classes. Wilkie said he wouldn’t want to single out any of his wrestlers, but he feels that they should have at least six state-placers.
Wilkie said the week-long delay allowed some of his wrestlers to recover from minor injuries.
“We are ready to go,” he said. “We have another week behind us and we are ready to get on the mat. We are ready for competition. We’ll be fresh. Our bumps and bruises have healed up.”
Seniors Joseph Sorrentino (182 pounds) and Hunter Smith (170) are among those with high expectations.
A year ago, Sorrentino finished as a state runner-up. He went undefeated at the sectional meet two weeks ago and earned the top seed for his weight class.
Smith, also undefeated at the sectional, was named the top seed in his weight class, too.
Also in the state meet for Creekview are freshman Bryce Davis (106), sophomores Grant Slater (120) and Ryan Camp (126) and juniors Justin Goss (132), Kyle Merenda (145), Coda Stewart (152), Christian Saragusa (220) and Brock Tupman (285).
Davis, a No. 3 seed, and Merenda, a No. 2 seed, also have strong shots at finishing with a medal.
In Class AAAAAA, Woodstock will be sending a contingent of seven wrestlers, while Etowah settle for five and Cherokee one.
Representing Woodstock are Alex Gomez (106), Tristan Watson (113), Zach Shareef (145), Duncan Morris (170), London Demetriou (182), Austin Biggers (195) and Daniel Benitez (285). Shareef, a No. 5 seed, has the best seeding of any of the Wolverines.
Etowah, which won the Area 5AAAAAA title, doesn’t have as many wrestlers competing in the state meet as coach Charles Higdon would like. Tough matchups in the sectional tournament saw several Eagles eliminated.
Dylan Wagner (126) has had a solid season, as have Joey Payton (132), Karl Davis (152) and Brandon Reibly (160). Still, the Eagle who has the most potential to win a state title may be Bronson Rechsteiner (170), who has a 42-3 record on the season.
Cherokee’s Max McMahan (120) will represent the Warriors, but he will have a tough first-round match. As the No. 16 seed, he will have to face top-seeded Bryce Crew from Camden County.
Sequoyah and River Ridge did not have any wrestlers advance out of their sectional meets.