There is a lot of excitement circulating through the wrestling community, and some of that action is focused on the 2010-2011 Centennial Eagles.

Besides returning two-time state champ and nationally recognized junior Nathan Kraisser, the Eagles have picked up an out-of-towner in recent junior transfer Macon Stanley, a two-time state qualifier from Kansas.

“I see that we have a lot of new guys and we are definitely a young team, Centennial coach David Roogow explained.  “They are keeping up with the pace, and some are struggling, but we practice hard and they are keeping up.  

“Four years ago, I had some guys who didn’t like the pace we were practicing, so it is easier with these younger kids who don’t know anything different.”

There are just four seniors in the Centennial lineup, but Roogow will take the youthful wrestlers rather than submit to six forfeits as the team did in years past, and has three wrestlers vying for the 285 position, a slot in the lineup that has been thin in recent seasons.

“We don’t have the depth, and I don’t know who is going to be my 215-pounder, but we wont be forfeiting six matches like we did last year,” Roogow relieved.  As the tournaments get bigger we will do better.  We have two guys that have a shot, and we have another couple that should qualify for states.”

The two wrestlers that have good shots at state titles are Kraisser and Stanley, practice partners in the wrestling room, and neighbors out of school.

“He is the first kid that we have had in the practice room at [Kraisser’s] weight that can push him,” Roogow said of Stanley.  “He would wrestle with kids around his weight and his brother, 30-40 pounds heavier than him, and then his clubs would be where he got a lot of his quality practice partners.

“Honestly, one of the reasons I think he chose this school was getting the chance to work with Nathan.  He could have gone to River Hill, Wilde Lake or up-and-coming Reservoir, so it was really happy to see him come here.”

Not that Kraisser needs to be pushed more in practice, seeing as he is one of the most intense wrestlers in the room, according to Roogow, but the talent level that he now gets to see on a day-to-day basis will surely help in the season.

“He is probably the most intense wrester that I have seen.  Not to be cliché, but he is the heart and sole of our program,” Roogow said of Kraisser.  “In practice, in matches, even when he came in as a freshman, he had all the expectations on him.  We had a senior-laden team that year, and he was still vocal in practice and it hasn’t changed.

Kraiiser’s off-season work that fills nearly his entire spring, summer and fall could have a burnout effect on most wreslters, but when you want to be the best as badly as Kraisser does, it is just part of the investment.

“It definitely helped with our going into tough torments early in the season.  His month that he takes of is right after Fargo in August, so he doesn’t really have any downtime.

“In some wrestlers it can lead to burnout, but I don’t worry about him.  He wants to be a four-time state champ, and he honestly uses all of this to prepare for the national stuff in the off-season.”

Probable Centennial Lineup

103 – Daniel Ludlow (So.)
112 – Matt Nickell (Fr.)
119 – Joe Butta (Sr.)
125 – Nathan Kraisser (Jr.)
130 – Macon Stanley (Jr.)
135 – Hutson Baumann (Fr.) or Ian Harrison (Jr.)
140 – Hutson Baumann (Fr.) or Ian Harrison (Hr.)
145 – Joey Wysocki (Jr.)
152 – Dannial Siddiqui (Sr.)
160 – Zach Portnoff (Sr.)
171 – N/A
189 – Ed Wysocki (Sr)
215 – N/A
285 – Tim Noonan (So.)