The season turned out exactly as defensive tackle Brian Gaia hoped, and it helped the 6-foot-3, 285-pound Gaia finished it off his high school career in storybook fashion.
Playoffs were instituted in the MIAA A Conference, and The Gilman School (Baltimore) took home the championship two weeks ago with a double overtime 34-32 win against Calvert Hall, winning the title when it stopped a two-point conversion.
“I thought the team panned out exactly how we wanted it to,” Gaia said. “We lost the one game to Good Counsel, but I thought we did a good job and finished strong.”
One thing off Gaia’s mind is his college decision. He said he remains solid in his commitment to Penn State, and is now focused on improving his technique and adding more weight before transitioning to college.
“Really, I’m trying to work on hands and put more weight on,” Gaia said. “I wrestle (at 285 pounds) and I’ll probably knock a little body fat down and drop a little weight. I also do the shot put. Wresting helps my feet get quicker and it also helps with my hands.”
One of the reasons the Greyhounds (10-1) finished the season on a nine-game winning streak was Gaia’s ability to plug the middle of the line of scrimmage.
“I thought I had a really good power,” he said. “I thought I was really good at stopping the run and on pass plays being able to push the pocket.”
Gaia, who also plays offensive line for The Gilman School, wants to add weight because he hopes to play as a true freshman. But getting stronger and knocking off body fat isn’t the only areas of improvement on Gaia’s agenda.
“I want to work on my pass rush and getting more pressure up the middle, and get to the quarterback,” Gaia said. “I’ll work with (The Gilman School’s) defensive line coach to shoot the gap, and push the center back and work to the guard.”