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State wrestling championships to be held at 6 sites

Each classification will hold tournament at different location; Buford to host Class AAA meet

POSTED: February 14, 2014 9:05 p.m.

The traditional wrestling state championships will be held at six different locations and will be condensed to a single day in Classes A-AAA, the Georgia High School Association announced Friday.

The GHSA announced Wednesday that the state championships, originally set for Thursday through Saturday at the Gwinnett Arena, had been postponed until Feb. 21-22 due to inclement weather throughout North Georgia. The Gwinnett Arena was not available to host the event on the new dates due to previous commitments, which forced the GHSA to select alternate host sites.

Two area schools will now be host sites for their classification’s respective tournament.

Buford High School will host the Class AAA state championships on Feb. 22, while Commerce High will host the Class A tournament on the same day.

The rest of the state meets will be scattered at various locations across the state. Class AA will be held at Toombs County High in Lyons, Class AAAA is at West Laurens High in Dexter, Class AAAAA will be hosted by Loganville High and the Class AAAAA meet is headed to Chattahoochee High in Johns Creek.

As a result, many area teams will have much longer commutes to the meet. Jefferson, which has 11 wrestlers competing at state, will travel three hours to Toombs County in Middle Georgia for the Class AA meet, and will have to find hotel accommodations the night before.

The Dragons’ drive from the school to Gwinnett Arena would have only been about 30 minutes.

“It’s nice when we can have a lot of our people come down and watch us, and now it probably cuts that number in half,” Jefferson coach Doug Thurmond said. “That does hurt, because that’s good for our kids.”

The Dragons previously visited Toombs County High for the 2011 Class AA state duals, which was moved there after similar weather issues. They left as state champions.

The Class A, AA and AAA state meets will be one-day events, instead of the typical three-day schedule used at Gwinnett Arena. Each bracket will have eight wrestlers, and will take a similar amount of time as the sectional meets.

“They’ll just be coming from everywhere, from the top of Georgia to the bottom of Georgia,” Thurmond said. “There will just be a vast amount of different teams that will be there.”

The Class AAAA-AAAAAA meets will take place Friday-Saturday and feature 16 wrestlers per weight class.

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