Ryan Diprima is ready to continue climbing the charts with the Haralson County High School wrestling program.
After serving as an assistant coach for the past three years, Diprima was promoted to the top spot of Rebel wrestling following the departure of former head coach Nick White in May.
Having served as White's right-hand man since the inception of the program three years ago, Diprima has seen the steady ascent up the Class AAA ranks, highlighted by a top-10 finish at the GHSA Traditional Wrestling State Championships in Macon this past February, where the Rebels capped off the campaign with three state-placers reaching the podium.
"I think that the kids are happy that somebody who has been with them for three years can stay and kind of carry on what I've learned from coach White," Diprima said. "The administration has been very supportive of me, so I'm happy with it. It's been good. I couldn't see leaving these guys. And I'm not faulting anybody for any decisions that were made. I just felt like it was my part to stay and become the next head coach. So it's been good so far."
With the foundation already in place and the program established to the point of where it's making a name for itself across the west Georgia region and beyond, Diprima is focused on making sure his grapplers don't get complacent and keep shooting for bigger and better goals.
"I think the biggest thing is you've had something that went from dead zero to something that's going 100 miles an hour at this point," Diprima said. "We've got kids who are coming into their own and becoming real wrestlers. Another thing that I've seen and that I've learned in my time as a coach is system. Wrestling within a system and kind of learning within a set parameter of this is what we do and this is why we do it and we don't do anything else. So that's a new way of wrestling for me. It's not the way I learned how to wrestle, but I think it's helped in building the enthusiasm of the wrestling team and the wrestling program at Haralson County."
A handful of Haralson County wrestlers were on hand for the Journeymen Wrestling's Cael Sanderson Camp last week at The Coliseum on the University of West Georgia campus, where the Penn State coaching staff and some of its national champions were on hand to lead the instruction.
Outside of that, Diprima said the team will feature more in-house work this summer in grinding toward the winter season.
"We've got a few more little mini-camps that we're talking about doing with some big-name guys that may come into our room and help us out in the summer with some college wrestlers," Diprima said. "Other than that, we're just going to get after it and practice."
Haralson County returns two of its state-placers from last year in rising senior Daniel Muse, who placed third at 113 pounds, and sophomore Jacob Wilson, who took fourth at 106 as a freshman, while 126-pound state finalist Blake Rice has signed to continue his wrestling career at Truett McConnell, along with Jacob's older brother, Adrian Wilson, and Faizun Ray.
And after getting three grapplers on the podium this year and placing ninth in the AAA team standings, Diprima wants to bring even more notoriety to Rebel wrestling on the state stage in 2019.
"We have a solid core of seniors coming back with us. The names that come to mind are Daniel Muse, Gavin Benton, which are my 120 and my 138. I think they're going to do good things. I think my 220, 195 and 106, they all should make the state finals. My 220 is Caleb Hardeman, my 195 will be Trey Lovelace and my 106 will be Jacob Wilson," Diprima said. "Jacob's brother is currently going to college at Truett McConnell on a wrestling scholarship, so I expect big things out of those guys and I expect big things out of everybody. But those are really going to be the cornerstones of the team coming in."