For the first time in the 10-year history of Council Rock South, there is no Rappo competing on the wrestling team.

After the five Rappo brothers made their way through the program and won a combined six state championships, the Golden Hawks are left with just the family's legacy.

But to senior P.J. Steinmetz and coach Brad Silimperi, that legacy will live on. And it'll never be replaced.

"It's definitely really weird, I don't think anybody can really step up and just replace what they had," Steinmetz said. "The first year without the Rappos at South is like the year without a Santa Claus."

Instead, Steinmetz, Council Rock South's top returning wrestler, plans to create his own legacy. After placing third last season at 195 pounds at the PIAA Class AAA state tournament, Steinmetz is looking to stand atop the podium in Hershey come March.

Though the Rappos are no longer competing for the Golden Hawks, Michael Rappo - the second oldest and a two-time state champion - is an assistant coach and works with Steinmetz every day at practice.

Steinmetz says that having Rappo as a coach and competing against him every day sets him apart from his competitors.

The senior has a few pounds on his coach and training partner, but Silimperi said he has yet to score a point against Rappo. The day-in and day-out challenge will help prevent Steinmetz from becoming complacent, which Silimperi identified as his biggest obstacle to a state title.

"In the state of Pennsylvania, everybody's good. You can't take anybody lightly," Silimperi said. "The biggest thing [for Steinmetz] is complacency. Every day, even when you're not feeling good or have bumps and bruises, you have to push through."

Steinmetz understands the importance of staying motivated, and he understands that every practice and every meet are meant to prepare him for the postseason.

Silimperi is thinking even further ahead.

When Steinmetz is having a lull in practice or not giving his all, his coach needs to speak just two words to get him back on track: Big Ten.

Three weeks ago, Steinmetz committed to wrestling powerhouse Penn State, his dream school. The Nittany Lions also are ranked No. 1 in the country and compete in arguably the toughest wrestling conference.

"As a coach it makes my life easy," Silimperi said of his senior's early commitment. "When I need to get him in gear, all I need to say is 'Big 10.' . . . It also puts things in perspective to him. . . . Every day he knows he has to work hard."

Steinmetz said committing to Penn State "was definitely a weight off the shoulders. The recruiting process is very stressful. When I was growing up, it was always my dream to go there. I took an official visit, met the coaches, met the wrestlers, and I loved it."

Now, Steinmetz can focus on the little things. He's looking at the mistakes he made in last season's state semifinals and taking things one step at a time.

"Build, build, build," Silimperi said. "It's a long process."

But with the right coaches and system in place and a 100-22 record entering his senior season, Steinmetz is poised to add his name to the list of Council Rock South state champions.

Contact Megan Soisson at rallysports@phillynews.com.