Fraser High wrestler wins regional title, heading to states

By: Mark Vest | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 27, 2017

 Fraser High wrestler Danny Pfeffer has a hold of an opponent during a team regional Feb. 15. Pfeffer went on to win an individual regional championship and qualify for the finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Fraser High wrestler Danny Pfeffer has a hold of an opponent during a team regional Feb. 15. Pfeffer went on to win an individual regional championship and qualify for the finals at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

FRASER — Fraser High wrestler Danny Pfeffer stayed perfect on the season, winning a Division 1 individual regional championship in the 145-pound class Feb. 18 at Hartland High.

The victory also gave the senior a spot at the individual finals March 2-4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

“It’s my first one (regional championship). It felt really good to win the title,” Pfeffer said.

Pfeffer’s accomplishments now include a 54-0 record for the season, a Macomb County championship and 198 career wins.

Although given all his achievements, it would be understandable if Pfeffer has come to a point of expecting success every time he steps on the mat, but that kind of mentality is one he prefers to avoid.

“At times it might to start to feel like that, but my ego starts to get too big,” Pfeffer said. “I really don’t like that, so I try to look at it more like … one match at a time; never overlook anyone.”

Prior to matches, some wrestlers can be seen frantically pacing back and forth while music jams from their headphones.

But at a team regional hosted by Fraser Feb. 15, Pfeffer was observed taking a different approach. Aside from smiling and taking a relaxed posture, he was singing lyrics from a Phil Collins song.

“Before, I used to be really fast-paced,” he said. “I listened to fast-paced music too. But that wasn’t really like me. So I started listening to calm kind of music, keeping me nice and mellow. That way, I can be at my best.”

One way or another, Pfeffer’s high school wrestling journey will end at The Palace.

He is hoping to leave there having accomplished something he never has. Pfeffer’s goal is to make it to the second weigh-in, which takes place before semifinal matches. 

“I’ve never made it to second weigh-in before,” he said. “It’s like a distant land that I haven’t been to yet.”

Fraser coach Rick Julien thinks Pfeffer is capable of achieving that, and then some.

“Danny did a nice job at the regionals,” Julien said. “He beat the defending state champ in the finals. … As long as he stays focused and concentrates, he’s got as much chance as anybody else at that weight class.”

The other Fraser wrestlers who earned trips to The Palace are Chris Hackney (189), Elijah Tucker (215), Mark Hickman (285) and Jalen Smith (140).

 

Hackney, Tucker and Smith each had second-place finishes at the regional, with Hickman taking fourth.