Daniel Higgins made his mark at Loy Norrix High School in two roles: one as the top pitcher used to earning accolades for the varsity baseball team and the second as the leader of the student section responsible for cheering on athletes in other sports.
He began playing Little League baseball when he was 5, and by the time he was 10 he’d moved on to travel ball. He was a pitcher for LN baseball for all four years of high school.
“I like that when I pitch, I can control most of the game,” Daniel said. “You control the tempo and the pace. You have a big part in whether the team wins or loses, and if I throw well, I have control over whether the other team scores. I love the individual nature of my job. Everyone plays his own game, but, at the same time, the whole team is working to try to make runs.”
As much as he loves baseball, in his senior year, at a friend’s urging, he took a swing at another sport: tennis.
“It was actually fun,” he said. “For the first time, I was playing a sport where I didn’t feel any pressure. It wasn’t a job. It was more fun.”
He doesn’t anticipate playing either sport — except maybe for fun — at Michigan State University, where he plans to major in pre-law with a goal of eventually becoming a sports agent.
This year he took on a new role as the student section leader. A friend, who had been the section leader last year, passed on the torch.
He ran the Twitter account and started an Instagram for the student section to help decide themes for pep rallies and games. At the games, he said, his role was to pump up the Knights’ spirit by leading cheers but also to set a good example for student behavior.
In many ways, the student section leader role was a natural fit for him.
“Honestly, probably one of my favorite memories was from my freshman year and the very first pep assembly,” Daniel said “In middle school, I didn’t really enjoy them. But at Norrix it was cool to have the whole school there, with the band playing, and players throwing alley oops and learning the fight song. I thought this was really cool.”
It is a common piece of advice to tell high school students to get involved, but there’s truth to that adage, Daniel said.
“You have to make the most of your high school experience by working hard,” he said. “You’ll get out of it what you put in. If you don’t go to games, or connect to the student body and the faculty, if you sleep through classes, you’re not going to have a good experience.”