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Kraisser family wins again

Centennial junior Calvin Kraisser is the sixth wrestler and the fifth sibling in a family legacy that has spanned four decades and produced 14 individual state titles for the Eagles.

Ranked third by Legacy Wrestling at 144 pounds, Kraisser will pursue his third straight regional crown this weekend after having earned his third consecutive Howard County Tournament title last weekend.

Kraisser will pursue his third straight Class 4A-3A state championship on the weekend of March 1-2 at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, being coached by his father, Cliff, as were his four older brothers before him.

"At this time of the year especially I just try to get rid of all of the negative thoughts," said Kraisser, who improved his record to 29-1 on the year and 90-3 for his career. "It's all about, 'I can do this, I can win this.’ Your mentality is the most important aspect of wrestling."

Cliff Kraisser was a state champion for the Eagles in 1983, elder brother Nathan earned four each in county, regional and state crowns before graduating in 2012, Austin won four each in county and regional crowns as well as three state titles in four championship births through 2016, and Jason graduated in 2019 with four each in county, region and state titles.

The eldest Kraisser sibling, Brian, graduated in 2010 with two county titles and fifth and sixth place finishes at states. Brian was also second and third at counties and twice a runner-up at regions, where he also placed third and fourth.

Jason's career record is 159-4, Austin's is 154-8, Nathan's, 152-6, and Brian’s, 126-39.

When it comes to wrestling, it appears that the Kraissers are anointed.

"Faith is an important aspect of our lives, and you are what God made you," Cliff Kraisser said. "Wrestling is one of those sports where you don't have to be the most athletic, or the strongest or the best technician, but it's all of those things together."

Calvin Kraisser was named the event's Outstanding Wrestler for winning his third straight crown with a fall in 1:50 against Glenelg's Collin Szczepanski, having used pins in 3:07 and 1:48 to reach the finals.

Among Calvin Kraisser's high school losses are those by narrow decision against the Sherlocks of top-ranked Gilman, each of whom is a two-time Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association and Maryland Independent Schools State champion. Emmitt is now competing at 165 pounds, and Tyson is now at 144 pounds.

"I feel like I could have won,” Calvin Kraisser said. “But those guys are definitely very good, and I respect them.”

Jason went 39-0 as a junior and 40-0 as a senior. Austin went 40-0 as a senior. Calvin went 27-0 as a freshman.

“There's definitely pressure,” Calvin Kraisser said. “But even if I do lose, there will be disappointment, but I can just continue to work on improving so that eventually I can beat them."

Among Kraisser's victories this season was a 3-2 decision over Northeast's Class 2A-1A state champion Beau Schmidt, a two-time Anne Arundel County champion.

"Calvin and I were scoreless at 0-0 in the first period, then I chose the bottom and got a reversal for a 2-0 lead and almost caught him on his back," Schmidt said. "I think I could have gotten two swipes, but I didn't. Then he escaped and I still led, 2-1, in the third before he took me down with 18 seconds left to win it."

Calvin Kraisser came from behind to win each of his state titles, the first, as a 132-pound freshman, and the second, as a 138-pound sophomore.

In 2022, Kraisser overcame a 2-0 deficit for a 3-2 victory over previously unbeaten senior Elijah Mills of Old Mill High. Kraisser secured the go-ahead reversal late in the second period to secure his first state championship.

In 2023, Kraisser decked Clarksville of Montgomery County junior Jonathan Chang with 21 seconds left, using a bar-arm pinning maneuver to turn and pin Chang. Kraisser trailed, 2-0, entering the second period after Chang’s takedown 30 seconds into the match, but he reversed Chang in the second period to tie the bout at 2-2 entering the third.

"Most of the time I'm just thinking about how to create opportunities," Kraisser. "You just have to keep on chasing the opportunities, and, eventually, you hope to get the takedown."

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