By Jason Wesseldyk
Coach: Rick Bauer (16th season)
Returning letter winners: Luke Gorgas (pole vault), sr.; Charlie Stormer (distance), sr.; Will Doucette (sprints), jr.; Will Ayers (hurdles, pole vault), sr.; Landon Miller (sprints), jr.; Luke Barde (throws), jr.
Season outlook: Dominant.
That one word pretty much sums up Saugatuck’s performance in the SAC during the better part of the past decade as the Trailblazers enter the season having won eight straight league titles dating back to 2014. (No championship was awarded in 2020, as the season was cancelled due to COVID.)
But if Saugatuck is to continue the run of success, it will need several young team members to step up and contribute.
“We are extremely young this year, which means we have a lot of unknowns,” Saugatuck coach Rick Bauer said. “We’re excited to see how the boys develop.”
Bauer, who is entering 16th season with Saugatuck, has led the program to three state titles and four runner-up showings at the state finals. One of those second-place finishes came last season, led by then-senior hurdler extraordinaire Benny Diaz.
“It is difficult to say what are strengths are going to be this season as we are so young and so little is known about this group,” Bauer said. “We have a lot of kids who are new to track, so we’re trying to figure out what events are best for them and for the team.”
Senior Luke Gorgas is one of the returning letter winners who will be relied on to provide leadership off the track and points on it. He won a regional title in pole vault last season.
Fellow seniors Charlie Stormer (distance) and Will Ayers (hurdles/pole vault) also return, as do juniors Will Doucette (sprints), Landon Miller (sprints) and Luke Barde (throws).
The rest of the team will be comprised of newcomers such as freshman Nik Petrik (sprints), freshman Brennan Nor (distance) and sophomore Jaxon Green (sprints).
“The goal is to improve throughout the course of the season,” Bauer said. “We hope to be competitive in our division of the SAC this year as we are also building for the future of the program.”