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Four area wrestlers earn All-America honors at Fargo Nationals

McDonogh wrestler Jack Clark competes at the MIAA Wrestling Championship Feb. 12. He was one of four local wrestlers to earn All-American honors at the Fargo Nationals. (Patuxent Publishing photo by Kitty R. Charlton)

When area high schools open next month, there will be four new All-America wrestlers walking the halls.

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Centennial rising senior Nathan Kraisser, who has emerged as an All-American four times from the Fargo, N.D., national tournament, had his best overall performance at the tournament last week, placing fourth in the freestyle and fifth in the Greco-Roman 125-pound competitions to earn double All-America status for the first time.

Cory Daniel, a River Hill rising sophomore, earned All-America status with a seventh place finish at 160 in the Greco-Roman class. In April, Daniel also earned All-American status at the National High School Coaches Association Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Va., with a second-place finish at 152.

McDonogh rising sophomore Jack Clark finished third in freestyle at 140 pounds.

And Bryce Pappas, entering his sophomore season at St. Mary's, finished fourth in freestyle to earn All-America honors in the 152-pound class."I don't think anyone saw this coming," Pappas' father, Drew, said. "He had finished second at states and seventh at National Preps. But he's never wrestled nationally before. We had no clue what the competition would be like. But he really wrestled tough all the way through. We're very proud of him."

To participate at Fargo, a wrestler had to be among the top three in his weight class. Forty-three states were represented. But the competition didn't seem to scare Bryce Pappas, who had been wrestling since age 5.

He started after his parents saw a wrestling flyer and decided to take Bryce's older brother, Andrew, to experience the sport.

"We never pushed Bryce," Drew Pappas said. "We just let him roll around. His brother did it and little brother did it too. But over the last year or two in junior league Bryce has improved leaps and bounds. He and Andrew both get the sport and love it."

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