By Brian Paglia
The Georgia High School Association has decided to cancel the Sectional Tournaments for traditional wrestling and left guidelines for basketball teams to conclude their regular season, which left some Southern Crescent teams and schools scrambling to adjust their schedules.
Sectionals were scheduled for February 12-13 at regional locations across the state, including Union Grove and Locust Grove. Initially the GHSA postponed the sectionals until February 15-16.
Instead, an extra day has been added to the State Tournament, which will expand the bracket in classes AA, AAA, AAAA and AAAAA to 32 wrestlers. Class A will expand to a 16-man bracket.
Locust Grove wrestling coach Nick Fordham, who oversaw the organization of the Class AAA East Sectional Tournament, said the expected revenue of being a host site will be lost.
"We're obviously not happy about the decision," Fordham said.
"We're out money, but there's nothing we can do about it."
But the change allows Locust Grove to play to its strength at the state tournament at the Gwinnett Arena, which starts February 18.
The Wildcats had nine wrestlers qualify to the sectionals. Now, all will go to the state tournament.
That's good news for Locust Grove, according to Fordham.
"We're a much better traditional tournament team," Fordham said.
"I feel like we're a much better individual team than dual meet team."
The GHSA's decisions also helped avoid a whirlwind of legistics at Locust Grove, which is also the host site for the Region 4-AAA basketball tournament.
With weekend games cancelled, the GHSA mandated that any non-region games or region games that had no bearing on the seeding of region tournaments would not be made up.
But with three teams tied for third place in Region 4-AAA -- Eagle's Landing, Woodland and Woodward Academy -- games have been rescheduled for Monday. Woodland (15-9, 11-6) will host Maynard Jackson at 7:00 p.m. after the girls game. Eagle's Landing (15-9, 11-6) will host Mary Persons on its Senior Night.
After a day off Tuesday, the Region 4-AAA tournament will get underway Wednesday, a later starting date than it expected, but not a problem after the GHSA moved the date for completing region tournaments to February 23.