The success of Maryland wrestling’s young grapplers has bolstered the program’s lackluster season, representing what’s to come for the Terps going forward. But Friday night, Maryland will highlight its most experienced wrestler.

Against Northwestern, the Terps will honor their only senior — 133-pounder Billy Rappo — before he competes in his final home match. Coach Kerry McCoy said it’s been a long road for Rappo, with struggles and triumphs along the way, and he’s excited to see the program recognize the team’s veteran captain.

“For him to be able to get back here and finish strong and finish his career on more of his own terms, that’s very special,” McCoy said. “It’s a testament to the work he’s put in, but also, overall, what the people within the program have been able to help him accomplish.”

Rappo said the ceremony will be a humbling experience, as the fifth-year wrestler is the only member of his freshmen class still with the Terps. He’ll have a chance to win his fourth Big Ten match, while Maryland has a shot to secure its first conference victory.

The Terps (2-12, 0-7 Big Ten) will take on the Wildcats (6-7, 1-6), which is just above them in the league standings and has lost four-straight matches.

McCoy expects a balanced match, and he could even see both teams winning half of the 10 bouts. In that case, getting bonus points and pulling upsets would push one squad ahead.

“Bonus points could be the difference, but I talk to the guys all the time about … [being] successful. Sometimes you’ve got to beat someone you’re not supposed to beat,” McCoy said. “That’s what we’ve been talking about the last few weeks.”

McCoy’s lesson has rubbed off on his senior leader.

“We’re going to need some guys to step up, myself included,” Rappo said. “Or we can have a guy step up and get a win they aren’t supposed to get and upset someone. That’s what we need out of this team.”

With the possibility of a close match, the Terps would benefit from the return of No. 15 149-pounder Alfred Bannister, who is undefeated in duals but has missed the past three matches with an injury.

“He’s closer,” McCoy said. “We expect him to be ready to go, but we still take it day by day. He’s been practicing the past couple weeks. He’s not 100 percent, so it’ll be a match time decision.”

At this point in the season, victories will help the Terps build momentum toward the postseason. A win over the Wildcats will also help their oldest wrestler finish his home-meet career on a positive note.

“We want to send Billy out with a bang and with a win in his last home match,” McCoy said. “To get a win at home in his last time out, that would be really special.”