The march to the first state wrestling championship of the year begins Friday at the Macon Centreplex.
South Effingham, the Area 3-AAA duals champion, and Effingham County, runner-up in the Area 3-AAAA duals, are headed to Macon in what is expected to be a busy and competitive two days.
The Rebels will open with Area 1 champ Lee County. The winner goes on to meet the winner of the Eastside-Marist match. Also awaiting in the bracket are Woodland, Northwest Whitfield and Stockbridge.
Effingham will go up against Lee County on Friday morning at 9:10. The AAAA quarterfinals will be held Friday at 5 p.m. The semifinals start at 7 that night.
“It’s a long day,” Rebels coach Chris Hardin said.
South Effingham opens with Area 1-AAA’s No. 2 seed, Cairo, with the winner advancing to meet the winner of the Cass-Oconee County match. Gilmer is also in South Effingham’s half of the draw. Gilmer has won of the last three Class AAA state dual championships.
The Mustangs and the Syrupmakers meet Friday at 1 p.m., with the quarterfinals following at 5 p.m. and the consolation matches beginning at 9 p.m.
“On our side, we know we have some good teams,” South Effingham coach Tom Onorato said.
The Mustangs won their area last week, despite not entering wrestlers in two of the 14 weight classes. The Rebels had a complete complement in last week’s area duals and their victories came by large margins.
“If we can continue to have a full lineup, that’s all we can ask for,” Hardin said.