Wrestlers will be competing in their respective traditional region or area tournaments at Wheeler, North Cobb, Creekview, Allatoona and Mount Zion-Carroll high schools.
Those who finish among the top four of their respective weight classes will advance to next week’s state sectionals.
The eight-team Region 5AAAAAA championship will take place Saturday at Wheeler.
The host Wildcats won the region championship last season after finishing as the runner-up in 2011. Aslan Kilic (106 pounds), Wysmark Chaves (132), Aaron McGilvery (138) and Kion Shaw (285) are those who coach Matt Brickley expects to do well.
“I think we have a good chance to win (region), but that’s not really our focus,” Brickley said. “Our lineup is solid from top to bottom, and our goal is to get as many guys into the finals or into the top four placers to move on to sectionals.
“If we get lots of guys into sectionals, then winning the team title sort of takes care of itself. We won this last year, and it would feel good to repeat, but our goal is to have all of our guys in the room next week working on going to sectionals.”
Lassiter won the 2010 and ’11 region traditional championships in 5AAAAA, but came in second last season. Paul Pelletier, a returning champion at 120, is a near lock to advance, while and Connor Shields (170) should also do well.
Walton’s Jacob Murphy (132) and Matt Kenney (170) will lead the Raiders’ contingent.
North Cobb will host the nine-team Region 4AAAAAA championship Saturday.
Harrison won last year’s traditional championship in the former Region 4AAAAA, over Kennesaw Mountain. The Mustangs, however, took home this year’s dual title.
The last time Kennesaw Mountain won the region duals — 2009 — was also the last time it claimed the traditional title.
The Mustangs have two returning champions in Rene Gutierrez (170) and Justan Rivera (182). Augusto Paes should also factor in at 138.
“We feel like we have the right people in place at the right positions to win,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Roberto Rivera said. “They just need to fight through and keep pushing themselves into the finals, which is key. If we don’t have too many mishaps, we can have a lot of our guys through and into the sectional.”
Harrison returns region champions Anthony Fiacco (152) and Dylan Porter (195). Aaron Powell (106) will factor into the mix.
Cameron Westerman (126) and Peyton Hewitt (220) are returning champions for Hillgrove. Christy Powell (106) and her brother Carlin (113) are also expected to do well.
Returning champion Kyle Munn (138) will lead McEachern, along with Sharrod Pittman (285) and Christian Wade (195). Campbell will be led by Jamez Taylor (132), Jeremie Tuzizila (145) and Charles Robinson (160).
Marietta’s Trager Kviten (145) and Isaiah Borne (220), along with North Cobb’s James Allen (120), will also be tough to beat at their weight classes.
Creekview will host the 11-team Region 7AAAAA championship beginning today.
Pope will be aiming for its sixth-consecutive region traditional crown behind several talented wrestlers, including returning champions Sam Skinner (113), Billy Meek (160) and Joey Tabachino (220). Preston Markwell (120), Tyler Haskin (126), Davis Burson (138), Jake Henson (152), Brooks Climmons (182), Trevor Stevens (195) and Taylor Howard (285) will also factor into the podium’s top spot.
“We want to achieve the goals that we set as a team and as individuals,” Pope coach Jim Haskin said. “We want to win the region, advance all of guys to sectionals and go on and win state. That hasn’t changed.”
Kell’s Matthew Springfield (113) and Kerry Louis (145) look strong, as do Sprayberry’s Thomas Cook (152) and Osborne teammates Evans Ikpeoha (126) and Anthony Castillo (285).
The Region 5AAAAA tournament at Allatoona also begins today. Logan Southard (126), Cody Webb (182) and Ethan Benedict (113) will lead the Buccaneers.
Walker, Whitefield Academy, North Cobb Christian and Mount Paran Christian will compete at Mount Zion-Carroll for the Area 3A tournament, which starts today.