Pewaukee High School senior earns college table tennis scholarship


Pewaukee High School senior Ross Pelzel (center), who was awarded a scholarship to play table tennis at St. Louis University, is congratulated by Pewaukee Ping-Pong club adviser Kirk Stimpert (left) and Pewaukee High School Athletic Director John Maltsch. Photo By Submitted photo

It’s not uncommon to read about Lake Country athletes securing college scholarships for sports such as football, basketball or volleyball.But it’s not every day you hear about one who earns a scholarship for table tennis.Ross Pelzel did.Pelzel, a senior at Pewaukee High School, was offered a $3,000 annual scholarship to play table tennis at St. Louis University.The 18-year-old can’t accept it because he was fortunate enough to earn another full scholarship to St. Louis, but he does plan to join the table tennis team there.This time of year, Pelzel is busy swinging a racket for the Pirates tennis team.But during the winter, his tool of choice is a paddle.And instead of a 36×78-foot tennis court, his playing surface is an elevated 5×9-foot table.Pelzel, whose parents are Jeff and Patricia Pelzel, said he played Ping-Pong a few times with his dad as a kid, but he didn’t start playing in earnest until his freshman year in high school when he joined the Pewaukee Ping-Pong club.The future Billiken said he was “really bad” at first, but then got a lot better.”So I thought it was fun and that it was something worth putting extra effort into,” he said.Pelzel said his favorite part about the game is that much of it is mental.


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