The loss of the winter high school sports season has been a tough blow for senior athlete’s across the region and Havre de Grace senior wrestler Gavin Lloyd is no exception.
Lloyd, who has compiled a 105-15 record in a Warriors singlet, is a two-time defending region champion and lost the opportunity to win a third such title with the recent announcement.
“Obviously, it stinks not being able to wrestle and not being able to go out there and compete with my team. I think I’ve learned a lot just being here, too and taking a lot from not being able to have that opportunity. I’m staying hungry, I’ve got more wrestling to do,” Lloyd said. “I think it’s just made me more excited for the next year. Wherever it takes me.”
Oddly enough, Lloyd didn’t get his career off to the best start as a freshman. Wrestling at 126 pounds, he was a fourth-place finisher at the annual UCBAC Wrestling tournament to qualify for the region tournament. But when it came time for the tourney in Salisbury, Lloyd came in overweight.
“I think I learned a lot about discipline and I think I definitely should have been a lot more disciplined going into that tournament,” Lloyd said. “I feel like I used that tournament as a drive to not miss weight again. That was a really bad feeling and not only letting myself down, but letting my coaches down, too.”
Lloyd says he has never missed weight again, but that doesn’t stop the jokes. “It’s an inside joke between the team now, they make fun of me every region tournament, saying that I [might] miss weight this time again,” Lloyd said.
Well the joke is on the team, as Lloyd used the freshman mistake to motivate himself to securenregion titles the next two years.
Lloyd won the region title at 145 pounds in 2019 and he was a runner-up in the UCBAC tournament. In 2020, Lloyd won UCBAC and region titles at 152 pounds.
Lloyd also wrestled his way into the Class 1A-2A, 152 state semifinals, before losing in 2020. Lloyd battled back from the loss and took a very respectable sixth-place finish. “I rallied back pretty well,” he said.
Regardless of the lost season, Lloyd is pleased with his time at Havre de Grace as wrestler.
“I guess I’m just thankful, thankful to have that opportunity and I’m thankful that I could be a leader for the Havre de Grace wrestling program and carry it on like my brother [Alex Lloyd] did,” Lloyd said. “I’m thankful that all of my teammates, they work just as hard as I do in the practice room and on the wrestling mat. They make me want to work harder, too. I’m appreciative of my time there, because I think I learned a lot.”
Lloyd says his 105 wins are second all-time at Havre de Grace to older brother Alex, who he says had 120 plus wins, but he also had one more season.
Lloyd thinks he could have won 150 matches if his senior season wasn’t canceled. “I’m not bitter,” Lloyd joked.
Currently, Lloyd is “not wrestling any competitions [and] practicing with Kramer Whitelaw at Ground Control Wrestling Academy in Rosedale.”
There have been a few events he’s been asked to attend. “I’m not sure how interested I would be in having to quarantine at home and I’m not really sure how much gain I would get from those competitions,” he said.
Lloyd says he’s currently around 165 pounds, but thinks he could get down to 152 if there was a season.
As for the next step, Lloyd is close to locking down a college where he can wrestle and study computer science.
Nothing has been made official, but Lloyd is getting close.
“I’m moving forward into the commitment plans with Roanoke College in Virginia. It’s their first year starting up a program, so it’s kind of exciting to be there,” Lloyd said. “I went there on a visit, met the coaches. It’s exciting for me.”
At Havre de Grace, Lloyd is a solid student with a 3.0-3.2 GPA.
At college, Lloyd has a goal to be a part of something bigger than himself.
“I’d like to help build the team. I’m trying to be a national champion and bring that to the team, too,” Lloyd said. “That’s always the goal. Whether it happens or not, we’ve just got to get there first.”
Looking past college, Lloyd says he plans to stay involved in wrestling.
“I definitely feel like I would be interested in wrestling internationally and even going into coaching,” Lloyd said. “I’ve often thought about coming back to Havre de Grace and helping coach the program just because I feel like I want to give back to them because I really appreciate the high school. I feel like it’s one of the best in the state, academically, the teachers and the overall atmosphere of the high school.”