Beast of the East wrestling: Patience pays off with title for SJVs Dean Peterson – nj.com

Before he was one of the nations top wrestlers, St. John Vianney junior Dean Peterson was a boxer so this feeling was nothing new.

Like Marsha Brady, Peterson hid his swelling nose behind his hands and bopped around at the center of the mat feeling like he just got punched in the face.

This was not a boxing match, however. This was just another day as a high school wrestler.

All wrestlers get banged up, but Peterson took a headbutt to the face and was visibly in pain as medical attention came to his aide.

It didn't matter.

Despite the injury, Peterson never slowed down. He not only never wavered, he got even stronger and dominated the third period on his way to an 8-2 win over Blairs Ryan Miller on Sunday in the 120-pound final at the 27th Beast of the East wrestling tournament at the University of Delawares Bob Carpenter center.

Peterson led 3-0 before the headbutt and tacked on two more takedowns and an escape to become the Shore Conferences first Beast of the East champion since Southerns Glenn Carson and Jackson Memorials Scott Winston both won titles in 2007.

"I'm not taking this as I won this, I'm going to win a state championship," Peterson said. "I still have to put the work in."

Peterson was one of three New Jersey wrestlers to win titles at the prestigious tournament, which annually features more than 1,000 wrestlers from 100 schools and 15 states.

Peterson, a Princeton University commit, joined DePauls Connor ONeill (170) and Colonias John Poznanski (182) as the Garden States representatives at the top of the podium after he missed last years tournament while recovering from a Grade 2 concussion that kept him off the mat for nearly three months.

My mind wasnt in it, said Peterson, who skipped last years Beast after making his season debut the week before at Southerns Robin Leff Tournament. I couldnt do much on the mat so I wasnt going to rush myself back.

That patience paid off.

Peterson put together the finishing touches on his undefeated sophomore season 10 weeks after missing the Beast by winning the 113-pound state at the NJSIAA State Championships, becoming the first St. John Vianney wrestler to ever win a state title.

Will his junior season be just as dominant?

This was only the beginning but dont bet against a fighter.

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Beast of the East wrestling: Patience pays off with title for SJVs Dean Peterson - nj.com

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