Fritzel Findeisen is hoping to help the Niles wrestling team make history this season. (Leader photo/File)
Fritzel Findeisen is hoping to help the Niles wrestling team make history this season. (Leader photo/File)

Archived Story

Findeisen an ‘aggressive’ wrestler

Published 10:38pm Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Niles High School wrestler Fritzel Findeisen is fun to watch on the mat.

What makes Findeisen entertaining to spectators is his approach towards opponents.

“Aggressive,” said Findeisen about his wrestling style at 152 pounds. “That’s always been the way I’ve wrestled.”

Since he was seven years old, Findeisen has been a nightmare for wrestling opponents. Findeisen’s father (Fritz) wrestled in high school and college and he introduced his son to the sport. Fritzel has loved the sport since day one.

“He wants to pin everybody,” said Niles wrestling coach Todd Hesson. “He’s non-stop. Officials say he never stops working. He’s hammering away at opponents until they’ve had enough. He has a touch of meanness in him.”

The Viking senior stands at 47-4 on the season with more than 25 pins. Findeisen has also matured in his final high school wrestling season.

“I’ll take a pin, but I’m more concerned about getting a win,” Findeisen said.

“He does a good job of remaining focused,” Hesson said. “Sometimes, in the past, he would lose focus on the mat after not getting a takedown when maybe it should have been called. He’s understanding strategy on the mat. He has good technique and does each phase of wrestling correct. He’s scored a lot of bonus points for us. His motor keeps running even when he’s tired.”

Bonus points from Findeisen and his teammates have helped the third-ranked (Division 2) Niles wrestling team enjoy a special season. The 31-1 Vikings meet Jackson Parma Western in a team regional semifinal match tonight at 6 p.m. at Mattawan High School. Last year, Jackson Parma Western edged Niles, 34-32, in a regional semifinal match.

“I think everyone’s excited,” said Findeisen about the match against Parma Western. “I think we’re going to give them a good match. It’s not necessarily a revenge thing. We just want to show everybody how good we are. We have to stay off our backs and get extra points whenever we can. From day one, our goal has been to get to the team state finals.”

If Niles beats Parma Western a meeting against Lakeshore or Vicksburg would await the the Vikings in the regional finals. Niles has never won a team regional under the current format.

Individually, Findeisen claimed his second straight district title last Saturday. He’s hoping to improve on his second place finish last year at the individual regionals when he steps on to the match this Saturday at the Eaton Rapids Individual Regional.

“I’m hoping to take a regional title this year,” Findeisen said. “I want to be a state placer, if not a state champion.”

Hesson has appreciated the leadership that Findeisen has provided as a two-year captain.

“He’s not loud,” the Vikings coach said. “He’s more like a follow by example kid instead of being boisterous. He works well with kids with lesser experience. He’s a great kid and student (3.8 GPA). He’s very funny with a dry sense of humor.”

Findeisen hopes to keep smiling for a few more weeks after matches.


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