Wrestling State Finals Prep: Gaylord Eyes 1st State Title

This is the second in a series of five stories previewing the 2019 MHSAA team wrestling state finals. 

GAYLORD – After finishing runner-up in Division 2 a year ago, the Gaylord wrestling program is headed back to the MHSAA state quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years.

The four-seed, Gaylord will face five-seed Tecumseh on Friday at Kalamazoo’s Wings Event Center.

Gaylord is in the quarterfinals after recording postseason wins over Mt. Pleasant (67-11), Petoskey (81-0), Escanaba (71-12) and state power St. Johns (36-33).

“Honestly, it’s a great feeling. Especially for our seniors, being their final year here,” Gaylord junior Chayse LaJoie said. “I really wanted them to get back there, and I think we have a really good shot at making a run this year.”

“It’s not easy to be there, but it means a lot to get there again,” added Gaylord senior Dmitri Smith. “It’s my last shot, and I was just happy not to end it here, and go out at states again.”

In addition to the team state finals, the Bucks are sending eight to the individual state finals that will take place March 1-2 at Detroit’s Ford Field.

Friday’s quarterfinal is set for 6:45 p.m. The winner will face either first-seed and five-time defending state champion Lowell or eight-seed Cedar Springs in a semifinal Saturday at noon.


Categories: Wrestling