By Madi Ivey, North Beach High School Intern
In seventh-grade, Daniel Fruh was a self-proclaimed “chubby, uncoordinated little squirt.” Now, a senior in high school, Daniel is the reigning state champion wrestler for 2B school, North Beach High School, at the 285-pound weight class.
Daniel started wrestling as a means of staying in shape for football, but he ended up being decent enough at the sport and chose to “stick with it.” Although he says most of his progress came in his high school years, he credits his junior high coaches, Coach Powell and Coach Schreiber, for all the help they offered him – guidance he believes has made him a better wrestler.
In eighth grade, Daniel went undefeated, which further increased his love for the sport. “[I] wasn’t the best athlete,” Daniel says, but when it came to wrestling, he excelled. After completing an undefeated season, Daniel began to realize the value wrestling added to his life.
By high school, Daniel was hooked. He credits the progress he made his freshman year to upper class men wrestlers Tyler Reed, Brett Weaver, Corwin Siverts, and Jamie DiFranco for, “beating the living crap out of me.” This, he says, helped him reach his “breaking point” and up his game.
In his sophomore year, Daniel’s performance continued to soar. He says he put in more effort that year, clocking extra training hours outside of practices that included everything from running after school to intensifying his workouts in the weight room. “[There were some] crazy workouts that really sucked,” Daniel says, but his hard work paid off, making him quicker and stronger, ultimately landing him second place in the stat tournament.
His junior year brought similar success. Daniel once again made it to the state tournament. “It was big. It was nerve racking,” Daniel explains. But, at the end of the day, “It was just another wrestling tournament.” During the tournament, Daniel tried to calm his nerves remembering that the people he was going up against were wrestlers just like him. Despite his apprehension, Daniel confidently won each match.
The championship match would, however, see Daniel facing a very worthy opponent. A wrestler similar to himself in size and stature, Daniel described his opponent as muscular, very strong and quick. But Daniel had one advantage his opponent did not: experience. Daniel’s opponent took him down in the first round, but Daniel managed to get a reversal at the end of the round. He started the next round on top, driving his opponent over with a “power half,” winning the match by a single pin.
After the win, Daniel’s first feeling was one of relief. His success didn’t really hit him until he got back to school, where he was celebrated as the school’s first state champion in wrestling. After his success, Daniel was asked to give motivational speeches to the fast pitch team and elementary school students. He says he’s always been used to looking at his own accomplishments as “nothing special.” It wasn’t until he saw how much his triumph meant to the rest of the school that he really felt like he had done something special.
This year, Daniel says he would love a repeat of last season’s outcome. His biggest goal is to pass on everything he’s learned to another heavyweight from his school that can eventually wrestle even better than he has. “If I could pass on what I’ve learned about wrestling to someone else, that would put the perfect polish on my high school wrestling career,” concluded Daniel.