Five southwest Georgia wrestling teams will compete for state titles this weekend.
Lowndes, Lee County, Crisp County, Cairo, and Turner County will compete the GHSA State Wrestling Duals tournament in Macon.
While wrestling is an individual sport, the duals is a team environment.
That changes the mindset for the squad's wrestlers, and they say that is a good thing for the team.
"I think it makes us come a lot closer," says Turner Co. senior Jason Alfau. "Being as a team, guys have to work together and it depends on some of us. We all have to come through."
"This weekend, it's all about the team," says Lee County senior Nick Bruner. "We're going in to try and get a win and do something big for south Georgia.
High school wrestlers compete for two state titles, duals and at the individual meet in February.
The duals can serve as an individual measuring stick for wrestlers against the state's best.
But Lee County head coach Tom Matheny also says it can help shake up the season.
"Practices are hard. They're ugly. They're brutal. They're not fun," Matheny says. "For them to go through these practices, bleed and beat on each other, getting to go against somebody else is something they look forward to."
The Rebels and Trojans say this weekend can also serve to put the rest of the state on notice of the quality of grapplers in south Georgia.
"South Georgia's not predominantly wrestling-oriented, so we're trying to build it up," says Turner County senior Evan Joyner.
"This part of the state, it has good wrestling. It can have great wrestling," agrees Turner County head coach Ryan Alfau. "It can be one of the better parts of the state, and I think we're showing that."
The state duals tournament begins Thursday with weigh-ins and the Round of 16 for Classes 4A-6A. It continues through the finals on Saturday afternoon.
Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.