Kennesaw Mountain is the top seed from Region 4AAAAAA, with the Trojans one of the co-No. 1s in 5AAAAAA. They are among several county teams competing for an opportunity to earn a bid into next week’s Class AAAAAA state duals, which will be held Jan. 10-12 at the Macon Centreplex.
The Region 4AAAAAA championship will start at Harrison with first-round matches at 9 a.m., with the finals set to begin around 2 p.m.
As the No. 1 seed, Kennesaw Mountain will face the winner of the South Cobb-Pebblebrook match in the quarterfinals. Other quarterfinal matches include No. 2 Harrison against No. 7 North Cobb, No. 3 Hillgrove against No. 6 Marietta and No. 4 McEachern against No. 5 Campbell.
“We have six pretty good teams that could win this,” Harrison coach Tom Fiacco said. “It was difficult to seed the tournament. All of the coaches had to be cooperative to seed it. There are easier (regions) to figure out than ours.”
While Harrison won last year’s Region 4AAAAA championship, Kennesaw Mountain is the most experienced team. The Mustangs last won a region crown in 2009 and have made four straight state duals appearances by claiming runner-up finishes the last three years.
“It’s fairly close among those top six,” said Kennesaw Mountain coach Roberto Rivera, who has led the Mustangs to a 20-4 dual record this season. “Whoever comes in as the most intact team, with no injuries or illnesses, on Saturday is likely to win it. If we’re healthy, I feel like we have a good shot to pull it off.
“We have seven strong guys that I feel can handle their matches, but we’ll need to get the young guys at the other seven spots to be productive. If they perform well, I think we can be successful.”
Lassiter (8-0) is seeking its third straight region duals title, but it will have strong competition from tournament host Roswell, the other No. 1 seed.
Competition begins Saturday with the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. and the championships slated for 2 p.m.
Lassiter will square off against Cherokee in the first round, with Wheeler-Etowah, Walton-Woodstock and Milton-Roswell filling out the bracket.
“We have some holes in our lineup that won’t get filled, so we’re already forfeiting three matches before this thing even gets started,” Lassiter coach Steve Day said. “We’re going to need a strong effort from our available guys to get another championship. It will be tough, but that’s what wrestling is.”