MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - About 3,000 high school wrestlers from around the state are in Macon this weekend as the city hosts the individual state championships.
Because of scheduling conflicts, this year's event was held here instead of in Gwinett.
"It's not a whole lot different besides the location, but they tried to make it pretty similar," says Jason Grimes, a senior wrestler from Holy Innocent. "The arena is a little smaller, and there's not many seats, but I mean, honestly that doesn't even really matter to me, because I'm just wrestling on the mat."
All those wrestlers and so few mats. One group was hanging out in the parking lot between matches outside of a camper.
"We usually bring the camper to every big tournament that we go to," says Brendan Quijley, another senior wrestler from Holy Innocent. "It just gets us out of the tournament, out of feeling enclosed inside the coliseum with not sitting in the bleachers. The camper's definitely nice; we've been all over the country in the camper."
Back inside, action lasts all day long.
"It's exciting walking in," says Jennifer McAlister, who's here from Morgan County watching her son compete. "There's a ton of people and everybody's screaming and cheering and there are strong boys everywhere beating each other on the mat."
Grimes, who's a former state champion, says by the end of the weekend, the experience is all worth it.
"Everybody's screaming," says Grimes. "It's definitely a great experience; it's fun--especially if you're winning."
His teammate agrees.
"We're in the moment," says Quijley. "We're just here to win a state title and then head back home."
We did speak with the Macon Convention and Visitors Bureau Friday. They tell us this weekend's tourney is expected to bring in more than $46,000 in hotel revenue and in services provided by the visitors' bureau alone.
Here's the remaining schedule for this weekend at the Macon Centreplex. Tickets are $7 a day.
Friday, February 15, 2013
Round #6 Consolation Quarters - All Classes 5:00-7:00pm
Round #7 Semifinals - All Classes 7:00-9:00pm
Weight Outs - Top 6 placers (After completion of weight class up to 1 hour)
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Optional Weigh-In 7:00am
Round #8 Consolations Semis - All Classes 9:30-11:00am
Round #9 Consolations Finals - All Classes 11:00am-12:30pm
Championship Opening Ceremonies 2:30pm
Finals Championship Finals - All Classes 3:00-6:00pm
Awards Ceremony Immediately after Finals