With three weeks left in the wrestling season, Chris Cicora wanted to change things up for his Brookwood squad.
Instead of having his team train indoors like it has most of the season, Cicora tried other training methods. He took the Broncos running at Stone Mountain and participated in Greek games, which featured flipping tires. They also had the weekend off from competition.
"I know they are real fresh after taking the weekend off," Cicora said.
Cicora hopes the change will translate into success this weekend at the Area 8-AAAAA tournament at Dacula. The Broncos won the area dual title last month, but in a region filled with some very tough teams, the traditional championship is up for anyone.
"There's a lot of parody in our area," Cicora. "Unlike in Area 7 where there's one dominant team. I think any team has a chance in our area."
Parkview has won the last six traditional area championships, but its run as dual champions was ended by Brookwood. Grayson and Dacula are also in the mix to contend for the traditional area crown.
The top four wrestlers in each weight class advance to the state sectionals at Union Grove next week.
The area has 9 of last year's 14 area champions returning. Brandon Bullock (Dacula), Nick Isburgh (Grayson), Quade Swell (Parkview), Zack George (Grayson), Zeke Hunt (Dacula), Jesse Forte (Parkview), Chris Roman (Brookwood), Matt Johnson (Parkview) and Jacob Aiken-Phillips (Central Gwinnett) return.
"Our goal is to get as many kids to the sectionals," Cicora said.
Collins Hill is the heavy favorite to repeat in Area 7-AAAAA at North Gwinnett. The two-time defending state champions are ranked No. 9 in the nation and have won the Area 7 title the last five years.
"They seem to be excited about getting to the individual state tournament," Collins Hill coach Cliff Ramos said. "It doesn't matter what has happened up to this point."
It's not inconceivable to think that Collins Hill could place all 14 of its wrestlers in the area finals. The team has been battle tested at some of the nation's top tournaments this season.
"That's our goal, but I don't know if it's achievable," Ramos said. "That would be an upset to do that."