KFYR-TV Sports Legacy’s Matt Kaylor was one of the first wrestlers to take the mat for the Sabers, and as his career progresses, he’s been one of the most successful.
Kaylor has distinguished himself as one of the best high school wrestlers in North Dakota. It wasn't always that way for Kaylor; he had to learn some tough lessons as an underclassman.
"You have to put yourself in situations where you're not comfortable,” said Kaylor. “You got to take yourself to the dark place and you got to just rise above it because when you're on the mat it's just you."
Kaylor was finally coming into his own during his sophomore season. He made it all the way to the state championship, but unfortunately he lost. That defeat ended up being the motivation he needed to push himself further.
"When you learn to lose at the top, like the biggest tournament of the year, you start to appreciate things a lot more and that was a huge motivation for me the following year. That's never going to happen again, I don't want that ever to happen again," said Kaylor.
One small mistake cost Kaylor the state title, but since then he has been unstoppable.
"He was upset about it, but with that being said, he was able to learn from that mistake and he worked even harder this off season and he went out last year and dominated and he's been doing the same thing this year," said Steven Monk, Legacy assistant wrestling coach.
Since the heartbreaking loss in the 2017 state championship, dominating is exactly what Kaylor has done. He has defeated every North Dakota opponent he has faced. He is the first wrestler from Legacy to win a state championship, and his success goes beyond state lines. Kaylor is also a USA Wrestling Junior and Cadet Greco All-American.
Kaylor's success was noticed by some Division I wrestling programs, like North Dakota State and South Dakota State, but when it was time to make a decision on where he would wrestle collegiately, He decided to stay in his home town and wrestle for the University of Mary Marauders.
"I felt like I was a better fit there and I was pretty happy with my decision. I'm really excited for the future. My house is probably only a 15-minute drive from there. My parents get to see me, my grandparents get to see me wrestle. My sister, she lives here in town and that's huge," said Kaylor.
Once he gets his degree from UMary, his plan could bring him right back to the Sabers.
"I think the end goal after I'm done with college, I'm sure I'll probably end up coming back here maybe coaching a little bit too. Just hoping in to like an assistant coach or something like that. Something cool," said Kaylor.