Both finished in the top four at Area two weeks ago before finishing in the top eight at Sectionals last week at West Laurens High School in Dublin.
Now only 16 wrestlers remain in each weigh division within each classification.
The tournament, which begins today, runs through Friday and concludes with the finals on Saturday.
Sloan, who went 4-0 and finished first at sectionals last week, is wrestling in the 220-pound division, while Thaggard (29-18), who placed eighth at sectionals, is wrestling in the 160-pound division.
Both are juniors.
While it’s the first trip to state for Thaggard, it’s the third trip to state for Sloan, who placed as a freshman at Henry County in the 220-pound division and again as a sophomore at Jonesboro in the heavyweight division. The Griffin High junior is considered one of the favorites this week to reach the finals, along with Locust grove’s Tyler Rapes (47-4).
The two met in the finals at Sectionals, a match Rapes forfeited to Sloan because of an injury to his elbow — thus meaning the two would be in opposite ends of the bracket at state. The two also locked horns at Area, a match Sloan, known as a defensive wrestler, lost 3-2 in triple overtime.
For now, however, Sloan is likely focused on his opening-round opponent, Crisp County sophomore Kaun Daniel (40-8), while Thaggard is focused on his opening-round opponent, Shaw High senior Jamal Mitchell (38-2).