Woodland wrestling’s stellar season has been rewarded with the No. 1 seed for the upcoming Class 5A state duals tournament, which runs Thursday through Saturday at the Macon Centreplex.
The Wildcats unsurprisingly nabbed the top spot in the classification’s bracket with Buford, Locust Grove, Veterans, Ola and Bartow County brethren Cass rounding out the six seeded teams. Cartersville wound up with the seventh and final seed awarded in Class 4A. (Coaches can choose to seed no fewer than four teams for the tournament but generally wind up seeding six to eight teams.)
With Woodland landing the No. 1 seed, Cass had to be placed on the other side of the bracket, keeping the Colonels from being able to contend for the fourth or fifth seed. It leaves Cass with a tough draw, as the Colonels would likely need to overcome Locust Grove in the quarterfinals and Buford in the semis to reach the finals.
Woodland’s path to the championship round is much more manageable, as it should be for a No. 1 seed. The Wildcats will likely cruise into the semifinals, where they would have to face the survivor of a possible thrilling match between Ola and Veterans.
After the top six teams were drawn into the bracket, Cartersville head coach Brooks Gayton successfully lobbied for the seventh seed. It worked and gives the Canes a much easier first-round matchup. Although, Cartersville would have its work cut out for it should the Canes come up against No. 2 seed Woodward Academy in the quarterfinals.
The tournament begins Thursday morning. Cartersville and Woodland will both take the mat at 9 a.m. The Canes will face Columbus, while the Wildcats grapple against Arabia Mountain. Cass will follow during the 11:15 window, taking on Southwest DeKalb.
Class 4A’s quarterfinals will take place at 1:30 p.m.; 5A’s Elite Eight round will commence at approximately 6 p.m. The semifinals and first three rounds of consolation wrestle backs are scheduled for Friday. Consolation semifinals, consolation finals and championship matches will occur on Saturday.