By Brian Paglia
The duals state meet is the first chance for a state title in the high school wrestling season, and the first step toward one begins today.
Four Southern Crescent schools will be hosting their respective area duals meets today and Saturday. Luella will compete in the Area 2-AAAAA meet at M.L. King.
Here's a quick look at each of the local area duals meets:
Where: Union Grove
Team to beat: Union Grove
Other contenders: Ola, Whitewater
Wrestlers to watch: Alcovy -- Biohmo Karmo (152); Harris County -- Tyler Denova (135); Ola -- Billy Abrahamson (119); Union Grove -- Griffin Higginbotham (103), Alex Lazor (135), Jared Vinson (145).
What to know: Union Grove has won seven straight area duals titles.
Where: Mundy's Mill
Team to beat: Lovejoy
Other contenders: Mundy's Mill
Wrestlers to watch: Lovejoy -- Corey Alexander (145), Gio Ortiz (140), David Washington (285), Cassius Williams (112); Mundy's Mill -- James Thomas (215).
What to know: Expect a repeat of the Area 4-AAAAA duals championship match in 2009 between Lovejoy and Mundy's Mill, which the Wildcats dominated.
Where: Henry County
Team to beat: Henry County
Other contenders: Locust Grove, Eastside
Wrestlers to watch: Eastside -- Jarrell Crowder (285); Henry County -- Bruce James (112), Jake Orozco (130), Dalvin Tomlinson (285), Brett Yarbrough (119); Locust Grove -- Zack Brown (152), Blake Sorrows (160), Bryan Sorrows (145).
What to know: Henry County and Locust Grove are both considered Top 5 teams in Class AAA
Where: Eagle's Landing Christian
Team to beat: Bremen
Other contenders: Landmark Christian, Bowdon
Wrestlers to watch: Bremen -- Zack Young (103), Ryne Eriquezzo (135), Joe Bexley (285).
What to know: Bremen swept both the Class A duals and traditional state meets last season, and return nine starters this season, including reigning state champs Young and Eriquezzo. Bowdon placed fourth at the state duals.