Now may be the time all of that hard work finally pays off.
Creekview will be a No. 1 seed as it joins the county's other teams in their respective region's duals championship. The goal for each team will be the same: Finish as the region champion or runner-up and earn a bid into next week's state tournament at the Macon Centreplex.
All of the championships will feature a double-elimination bracket with the runner-up challenging the third-place team, if necessary, in a battle for "true second," and the right to go to Macon.
As the No. 1 seed, Creekview (17-5) is the odds-on favorite to win the 11-team Region 7AAAA duals, which begin today at Rome.
The Grizzlies earned a bye into the second round, where it will face the winner of the first-round match between No. 8 Lambert and No. 9 Forsyth Central. Chattahoochee will also receive a bye as the No. 2 seed, and will take on either No. 10 Sequoyah or No. 7 Cass in the second round.
No. 3 Woodland-Bartow and No. 4 Rome are also expected to be contenders.
"We've had a good start to the season so far, and we're happy with what the guys have done to earn the No. 1 seed," Creekview co-coach Kevin Higgins said. "It's a really evenly matched region and anything can happen. We could go from finishing first to finishing sixth.
"We're happy to have this opportunity as a No. 1 seed to go out and prove ourselves. We'll need some luck and guys wrestling their best matches of the year so far, and if we do that, we have a good shot at making it to state."
In Region 5AAAAA, Cherokee, Etowah and Woodstock will compete with four other schools for the title Saturday at Lassiter.
Etowah nabbed the No. 4 seed while Cherokee is No. 5. The two teams will face off in the first round, with the winner advancing to face top-seeded Lassiter in the semifinals. No. 2 Wheeler and No. 3 Marietta could also factor into the final two spots.
Woodstock, the No. 7 seed, will battle No. 8 Wheeler in the first round.
"The first round is always the toughest," Cherokee coach Wayne Otto said. "I feel like we match up well against every team in the region, except Lassiter. They just have more depth than everybody else. But that's the key for us, it's matchups. We don't have the depth to go straight through the lineup, and neither does Etowah, so it will be about moving guys around, getting the right matchups as you go forward."
River Ridge, in only its second season of competition, has a squad comprised mainly of sophomores and freshmen. The Knights were seeded 13th of 14 teams for the Region 7AA duals, but with coach Leslie Morrow chose not to take his team to the tournament.
Instead, they'll focus on improving their technique.
"The coaching staff decided that we aren't going to the region tournament," Morrow said. "We're seeded 13 out of 14 (teams). Instead, we're going to treat this as an opportunity to help our wrestlers improve on the mat and get them focused on the traditional meets about a month from now."