Wrestling’s revised schedule for state championships ‘like a box of chocolates’

“I made it to state” is a phrase that will be used more than ever by Georgia’s high school wrestlers  this year.

“I made it to state” is a phrase than will be used more than ever by Georgia’s high school wrestlers  this year.
Why is that? Due the icy conditions, wrestling’s sectional tournaments were cancelled. It was part of an emergency plan by the Georgia High School League, which compensated by adding an extra bracket for this weekend’s traditional state championships. For example, in Class AAAAA, the 16-man bracket has been expanded to 32.
The three-day competition begins on Thursday at Gwinnett Arena, with the championship matches scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.
The cancellation of the sectionals definitely has its advantages: It allows wrestlers with nagging injuries more time to heal, more team members to experience the atmosphere of the state tournament, more time for coaches to study and plan for the brackets, and for deeper teams to rack up more points at state.
For veteran teams such as Centennial, it’s a big bonus. “It was all positive,” coach Don St. James said. “We are able to … work on our weaknesses. The guys I have going are older with a lot of (experience) so I feel like they will not have a letdown because of one off week.”
What are the negatives? Here’s some feedback from area coaches:
*Peachtree Ridge’s Danny Sinnott: “I think that the cancellation of sectionals could possibly affect us in a bad way with some of the draws we now have in the brackets.  It could also mess with kids’ heads. We all know that teenagers are already complicated … add a little change in schedule and it’s like a box of chocolates, “you
never know what you’re gonna get”.
*Blessed Trinity’s Richard Barden: “The biggest impact will be the fact that my guys will not have wrestled a match in 12 days. In a season where we wrestle matches with a mininum of four days between matches, that is a bunch. In addition, without the sectionals, I will no tbe able to fine tune any of my wrestlers right before the state tournament. I will have to use what I saw during the area tournament, which was almost two weeks ago.”
*Riverwood’s Richard McKeone: ” I hate the first day of single elimination.  It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that first match.  Also, one of the main reasons for the sectional was to separate the better wrestlers in the first rounds and hopefully allow the best wrestlers to meet in the semifinals.  We have now lost that.  Since the brackets were a random draw, the two best wrestlers may meet as early as the quarterfinals.”
*Dacula’s Jason Holcombe: “(It’s tough) with the up and down of trying to prepare to leave for a tournament, reschedule once, and then reschedule again. It has been almost two weeks since the Area Tournament and our wrestlers want to get back to live competition. Peaking at the right time is a huge issue because of the state tournament being single elimination in the first round. You have to wrestler your best match in the first round or your tournament is over.”
*Marist’s Riddick Beebe: “The only negative that may crop up will be a possible early-round meeting betwen two top-seeded wrestlers. There are a few weight classes that are really going to see some serious upsets early in the tournament.”
*South Gwinnett’s Teri Coates: “Our kids … will have to wrestler longer with a 32-man bracket. (It) will have an impact if a few studs get knocked off by an unknown wrestler, which could certainly happen with the brackets being bigger.”"I made it to state” is a phrase than will be used more than ever by Georgia’s high school wrestlers  this year.

Why is that? Due to the icy conditions last weekend, wrestling’s sectional tournaments were cancelled. It was part of an emergency plan by the Georgia High School Association, which compensated by adding an extra bracket for this weekend’s traditional state championships. In Class AAAAA-AA, the 16-man bracket has been expanded to 32. Class A will go from 8-man brackets to 16.

The three-day competition begins on Thursday at Gwinnett Arena, with the title matches scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday.

The cancellation of the sectionals definitely has its advantages: It allows wrestlers with nagging injuries more time to heal, more team members to experience the atmosphere of the state tournament, more time for coaches to study and plan for the brackets, and for deeper teams to rack up more points at state.

For veteran teams such as Centennial, it’s a big bonus. “It was all positive,” coach Don St. James said. “We are able to … work on our weaknesses. The guys I have going are older with a lot of (experience) so I feel like they will not have a letdown because of one off week.”

What are the negatives? Here’s some feedback from area coaches:

  • Peachtree Ridge’s Danny Sinnott: “I think that the cancellation of sectionals could possibly affect us in a bad way with some of the draws we now have in the brackets.  It could also mess with kids’ heads. We all know that teenagers are already complicated … add a little change in schedule and it’s like a box of chocolates, “you never know what you’re gonna get”.
  • Blessed Trinity’s Richard Barden: “The biggest impact will be the fact that my guys will not have wrestled a match in 12 days. In a season where we wrestle matches with a minimum of four days between matches, that is a bunch. In addition, without the sectionals, I will not be able to fine tune any of my wrestlers right before the state tournament. I will have to use what I saw during the area tournament, which was almost two weeks ago.”
  • Riverwood’s Richard McKeone: ” I hate the first day of single elimination.  It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on that first match.  Also, one of the main reasons for the sectional was to separate the better wrestlers in the first rounds and hopefully allow the best wrestlers to meet in the semifinals.  We have now lost that.  Since the brackets were a random draw, the two best wrestlers may meet as early as the quarterfinals.”
  • Dacula’s Jason Holcombe: “(It’s tough) with the ups and downs of trying to prepare to leave for a tournament, reschedule once, and then reschedule again. It has been almost two weeks since the area tournament and our wrestlers want to get back to live competition. Peaking at the right time is a huge issue because of the state tournament being single elimination in the first round. You have to wrestle your best match in the first round or your tournament is over.”
  • Marist’s Riddick Beebe: “The only negative that may crop up will be a possible early-round meeting between two top-seeded wrestlers. There are a few weight classes that are really going to see some serious upsets early in the tournament.”
  • South Gwinnett’s Teri Coates: “Our kids … will have to wrestler longer with a 32-man bracket. (It) will have an impact if a few studs get knocked off by an unknown wrestler, which could certainly happen with the brackets being bigger.”

7 comments Add your comment

richtfan

February 17th, 2010
3:58 pm

#4 versus #1 in the first round still proves to be a likely win for the #1. those guys who are #1 seeds in 5a didn’t get there with easy region wins, especially in regions 7 and 6. those are perhaps the toughest two regions in the state from top to bottom . guys who go into the loser’s bracket in the second round may have to wrestle a truly great wrestler who got upset in round 2.

BullDawg Rick

February 17th, 2010
5:16 pm

Beware of Zoe Castaneda…. 126 chick from Berkmar.. went 12 – 6 against the guys…

db

February 17th, 2010
5:51 pm

Couldn’t you have 1vs32, 2vs31, 3vs30,4vs29,5vs28,6vs27, etc…?

UGA = TRAILOR TRASH

February 18th, 2010
5:01 pm

watch out for cory canada at 145 from heritage

Parent

February 19th, 2010
6:52 pm

Wish more people cared about the coverage…like to see something like this all season.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/

125 beast

February 20th, 2010
12:31 am

watch out for Dylan Tanner at 152 from Fayette County he went 60-2 this season and is ranked #1 in the state. he’s going to go all the way. hahahahaha

SoGATeacher

February 20th, 2010
8:37 am

I’m OK with the fix for last weekend’s weather. After all before Sectionals were implemented last year (a GOOD move, by the way) the tournament was a 32-man bracket. But, there should have been real seeding for State. The format used for Sectionals SHOULD put the best Region Champion against the worst region 4th placer. That should be the way they do State, too. This would only require they rank the placers; winning region would still put you against a region 4th place wrestler; if you have the best record among the 8 region champs, you should get to face the worst 4th place wrestler and would lessen the possibility of upsets in the critical first round.