GAYLORD — The Gaylord wrestling team had its postseason run end in regionals last season due to COVID-19, snapping a three-year streak of making it to the state tournament.
The Blue Devils have made it to the state semifinals five times since 2015, including a pair of state championship appearances in 2018 and 2020. They fell to Lowell in their last three appearances in the state tournament.
This season, Gaylord returns a team ranked second in the preseason poll and motivated to make a deep run this year.
“It’s going to be a dogfight. Whoever we wrestle, they’re going to know that wrestled Gaylord. Whether we win or lose, it’s going to be a battle,” Gaylord head coach Jerry LaJoie said.
“(Last year’s ending) really is (motivating), but even more, it’s like the state title. So we’re we’re going for the state title this year. We’ve got a fantastic line up, a great group of freshmen even,” Gaylord senior Gabriel Thompson said.
They have multiple regional qualifiers back from last year, including seniors Thompson, Bennett Sides and Aaron Kassuba. Brayden Gautreau is also expected to perform well this year as a junior.
“This team is pretty solid throughout,” Gautreau said. “And usually, our lightweights are really stacked weights, our really good weights. But this year it’s kind of reverse and our heavyweights are our better weights. So it should be pretty interesting how it turns out.”
The full Gaylord wrestling schedule can be found on the school’s . Their first home quad will be on Jan. 5, 2022.