Eagles' coach takes heart in young team's potential


With two freshmen wrestlers and five others up from junior varsity in his starting lineup, Centennial's fifth-year coach Todd DeCrispino classifies this as a "learning" season.

"We have a lot of kids on varsity who barely have any experience whatsoever," he said. "I don't want to say it will be a disappointment because there's potential."

MOst of the potential is in DeCrispino's big three of sophomore Lance Rhodes and juniors Jason Nagle and Kevin Heywood.

Rhodes (103 pounds) and Nagle (125) will win Howard County titles, said DeCrispino confidently, while Heywood (135) has the ability to do the same.

Rhodes, "quick, precise and confident" in DeCrispino's opinion, placed fourth in the county last season at 9-10 overall.

At 112, Nagle finished 22-8 and was third in the county and second in the region and qualified for state competition.

Heywood made regionals at 130, but he didn't compete because of illness.

"Those three are so close in ability and potential in their weight classes," said DeCrispino.

Heywood has a habit of winning matches as an underdog, and DeCrispino also counts on Nagle to gain clutch wins.

"When preparing for a match, there's always a guy who you can put in a weight or pop up to another weight who you feel will be a key win," DeCrispino said. "Jason's one of those guys."

Except for senior Anthony DiPietro (160) and sophomore Joon Kim (189), the rest of the lineup lacks experience.

DiPietro, the team's leader, finished 10-10 last year. Kim placed third in the county at 189 and will be a surprise this season, DeCrispino said.

"I've never seen anyone with better balance," DeCrispino said of Kim. "Most of his victories will be from his feet. You can't imagine the balance the kid has."

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