As many expected, Centennial senior Jason Kraisser went out on top.
The 152-pounder put together his most dominant season to date this winter, as the reigning All-Metro Wrestler of the Year finished with a perfect 40-0 record with 33 pins. At the state tournament, Kraisser ended his historic career by pinning his first three opponents before beating Huntingtown’s Josh Stokes via a 14-3 major decision in a state finals rematch to become the eighth Maryland public school wrestler to win four state championships.
He joined his older brother Nathan, a former All-Metro Wrestler of the Year, on that prestigious list, and his final state title was the 12th for the Kraisser family. In addition for the four won by Jason and Nathan, Austin — another former All-Metro Wrestler of the Year — won three and their father and coach, Cliff, won one.
“It was the closing that I was looking for,” said Kraisser, who went 159-4 with 112 falls and ended his career on a 101-match winning streak. “The best way to describe it is hard work pays off. Doing all these extra things that people aren’t doing — staying after practice, working hard, not skipping any reps — they add up.”
Among his career accomplishments are four Howard County, 4A-3A East region and Warpath Invitational titles and two Mount Mat Madness crowns. At this year’s annual holiday tournament at Mount Saint Joseph, Kraisser defeated a two-time state champion from Georgia, Charlie Darracott of Buford, by a score of 9-5 and was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler. He also earned the most outstanding wrestler honor at Franklin’s Warpath Invitational.
“It was probably the peak of my senior season in that it kind of captured what I set out to do my freshman year and my sophomore year coming up short,” Kraisser said of winning Mount Mat Madness, where all four of his career losses came in his first two seasons. “Just being able to get the accolades there, it just put a nice finish to it and left a good taste in my mouth.”
Kraisser allowed just one takedown and one reversal on the season — both to Darracott. In league matches, he bumped up two weight classes and defeated Atholton state champion Sean Billups by decision, pinned Howard’s third-place finisher Shayan Kassiri and beat state placers Will Vaxmonsky of Marriotts Ridge and Jacob Jones of Glenelg via technical fall.
Kraisser, ranked No. 9 in the country by InterMat and No. 20 by FloWrestling, will follow his older brother’s footsteps and wrestle at Campbell University in North Carolina.