Wesleyan looks to get over Lovett hump at area duals

Ever since Jeff Bedard took over the Wesleyan wrestling program three years ago, there has been one team that has stood in the way of making the Wolves one of the top teams in the state.

If everything goes as planned on Saturday at the Area 3-AA Duals Championship, third-ranked Wesleyan will get another crack at No. 2 Lovett, the two-time defending area dual champions.

"That's what I'd like," Bedard said. "On paper, it looks like it should play out that way."

Lovett has gotten the best of Wesleyan the past two seasons and even one-upped the Wolves last week at the Cass Duals.

Both teams reached the finals of the tournament, but figuring to meet each other on Saturday and possibly the state duals, they decided to determine the winner by a coin flip. It was won by Lovett.

"We'd like to get this over the hump," Bedard said. "Having our program and team make it to state, it would be huge for our kids."

The top two teams from each area advance to the state tournament next weekend in Macon.

Parkview is the defending Class AAAAA dual state champions and the Panthers are a favorite to win their fourth-straight area title on Saturday at Brookwood High School.

"We definitely want to be No. 1 and not No. 2," Parkview co-head coach Tom Beuglas said. "We have every expectation to win the area and not get anybody hurt. If you get someone hurt before next week, you're in trouble."

It will be the first time this season that Parkview (15-0) will have all of its starters in the lineup. The Panthers have been plagued by injuries, illness and some wrestlers not making weight.

"This will be first time we've had a full lineup with everyone in it," Beuglas said. "They'll all be in this week, just not at the right weight class."

Beuglas said he plans for many of the varsity wrestlers to wrestle up a weight class and to use the Panthers' junior varsity.

The No. 2 spot headed to Macon will be decided in the semifinals where Eighth-ranked Grayson will face No. 10 Brookwood.

At the Area 7 duals, No. 3 Collins Hill is the favorite to win the championship again at Duluth High School. The Eagles, who have not lost a dual meet to a Georgia team this season, won last year's area title and finished second at state.

"It's the first round of the state tournament and they say if you can win your area it helps you at state with the seeding," Collins Hill Cliff Ramos said.

North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge could be battling it out for the No. 2 spot along with the addition of three Forsyth County schools.

Dacula is having one of its best seasons in recent years and the Falcons can make it a memorable season with a trip to the state duals.

Eastside, the No. 1 team in Class AAAA, is the obvious favorite to win the area tournament, but that leaves four other teams fighting for one spot at Clarke Central High School.

Dacula, Habersham Central, Jackson County and Rockdale will be battle for the No. 2 spot. Dacula beat Rockdale earlier this week by one point and lost to Habersham early in the season by one.

"If we take care of business the way we need to take care of business against the teams we've already wrestled, we've got a good shot of making the state duals," Dacula coach Jason Holcombe said.