Dean Peterson entered the state wrestling tournament as the No. 1 seed in the 113-pound bracket.
But even as the favorite, Peterson was fighting the odds.
No Saint John Vianney High School wrestler had ever won a state title before.
But Peterson put an end to that claim when became the school’s first state wrestling champion on March 2 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
In the 113-pound state championship match, Peterson earned a close 3-2 decision over Emerson Junior-Senior High School’s Nick Babin.
In a 32-man bracket, Peterson had to win four matches just to reach the title bout. The sophomore recorded four convincing decisions, 9-0, 9-2, 12-1 and 7-2, en route to the state final at 113 against the wrestler from Bergen County.
As a freshman last winter, Peterson lost in the 106-pound state title meet. In just two high school seasons, he is 71-2 with two championship appearances in Atlantic City.
Over the next couple seasons, Peterson could also become the first wrestler in Saint John Vianney history to win multiple state titles.