As the official in the circle signaled his victory, Centennial’s Jason Kraisser turned to the stands with four fingers raised, acknowledging his fourth individual state title in as many years.
On Saturday night, Kraisser beat Joshua Stokes of Huntingtown by major decision, 14-3, in the 152-pound final of the Maryland 4A/3A state championship at Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. Kraisser became just the eighth Maryland public school wrestler to win a title all four years at the championship meet. But he is not the first from his family.
Seven years earlier, Kraisser’s older brother Nathan became the fifth Maryland wrestler to win four state titles. According to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association record book, the Kraissers are the only siblings who are four-time champions.
“It’s special being able to be part of something my brother was, too,” Jason Kraisser said.
The Kraisser family now can claim 12 individual titles at the Maryland state championship — all for Centennial. Austin Kraisser, who last competed in 2016, won three state championships; their father, Centennial Coach Cliff Kraisser, won at 119 pounds in 1983.
“It’s cool, but I’ll think about it when we’re all done,” Cliff Kraisser said. “I’ve got one more son, so we’ll see if he can get any.”
In the 2A/1A competition, Damascus’s Timothy Furgeson earned redemption after finishing as a runner-up in last year’s state tournament. Wrestling in the 182-pound final, Furgeson pulled out a win by decision over Owings Mills’s Diondre Space. Furgeson maintained a 45-0 record en route to his first state title.
Furgeson said he carried the state final loss with him throughout the season, and he told himself during the match that he would not walk away without the win.
“I didn’t want that feeling again,” Furgeson said. “[Space] kept trying to slow me down, but I just thought to myself, ‘I’m not going to lose this one.’ ”
Glenelg also had a successful evening, with six place winners and two champions in the Class 2A/1A field. Junior Drew Sotka won his first title at 170 pounds in a 5-4 decision over Hereford’s Jimmy Kells, and Sam Alsheimer won at 195 pounds. But Jared Thomas (45-1) was unable to repeat as a champion, seeing his undefeated record come to an end against Owings Mills’s Phil Smith (37-0) at 138 pounds.
Senior Trevor Crowley of Leonardtown capped his high school career with his first title at 160 pounds in the 4A/3A competition. Leonardtown finished the championship with five place winners. Springbrook had four place winners, with Aimrick Nya grabbing second place at 285 pounds.
Other local champions were Wootton’s Eric Liau (103 pounds), Broadneck’s Michael Garlington (138), Sherwood’s Chris Sanchez (145), Atholton’s Sean Billups (170) and South River’s Ka’Ron Lewis (285) in 4A/3A and Poolesville’s Alex Carbonell (120), La Plata’s Alex Blake (145) and Owen Butler (152) and Damascus’s Elijah Baisden (220) in 2A/1A.