The GHSA Wednesday announced the postponement of the state traditional wrestling tournament, which was scheduled to take place this weekend at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, due to travel concerns.
The tournament is now scheduled for next Friday and Saturday at a site or sites to be announced. The Gwinnett Center is unavailable, and as of late Wednesday the GHSA had not announced an update on where the tournament may be held. In a press release, the organization said only, "In order to allow time for these athletes to properly prepare for the most important tournament of the season and because the Gwinnett Arena is not available due to previous commitments, the GHSA is exploring several options for alternate host sites."
The most likely scenario, according to coaches contacted Wednesday, is that the tournament will be held at multiple sites.
"I believe they're doing the right thing in postponing it now because teams were set to travel Thursday," Gordon Lee coach Brent Raby said. "I sent the GHSA an option to hold the A, AA and AAA tournaments at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton, which is available, but I haven't heard from back from them.
"I'm sure they want to keep it one place if possible, but Macon [Centreplex, site of the state duals] isn't available and I don't know where else they might be able to do that. The trade center is a great location and would work, but I doubt they will go with it."
The GHSA also gave its basketball teams a break by allowing regions until next Wednesday to complete tournament play, which will also push back the start of the state tournament. In a statement released on its website, GHSA officials will announce a revised plan for the first three rounds within the coming days.
Before that ruling, northwest Georgia teams faced the very real possibility of having to play two games in one day to try and finish play by Monday. That would have meant cramming 24 games into three days for the 7-AAAA tournament at Cass and 18 in the 7-AA event at Calhoun. It also means those tournaments will avoid the possibility of having to reduce the number of teams competing.
Region 6-A, which was to start last Monday at Trion and Darlington, already elected to cut its field in half, ending the season for four boys and girls teams. Trion boys' coach Lanny Thomas said he doubts the tournament field will be altered again.
As of late Wednesday each of the region tournaments were planning on playing Friday.
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or at 423-757-6296.
Lindsey Young is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who started work at the Chattanooga News-Free Press 24 years ago. He covers the Northwest Georgia prep beat and NASCAR. Lindsey’s hometown is Ringgold, Ga., and he graduated from Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School. He received an associate’s degree from Dalton Junior College (now Dalton State) and a bachelor’s degree in communications from UTC. He has won several writing awards, including two Tennessee Sports ...