Peterson heading to Arizona State, earns statewide scholarship as well
Jacen Peterson signed his National Letter of Intent to join the Arizona State University Pac-12 wrestling program on Tuesday in front of a full gym with cameras and cheers surrounding the All State athlete.
Charlo High School Athletic Director, Thom Peck, made it clear the signing was significant.
“Only one percent of high school athletes sign a Division One scholarship, and this particular Charlo Viking has not only signed a Division One scholarship but signed to a Pac-12 team, which is one of the top three conferences in the United States — so it’s even more grand,” Peck said. “Jacen is the poster child for the more you give, the more get; the harder you work, the more you’re rewarded; the more you love, the more you get loved.”
Peterson has not only excelled on the wrestling mats but has also torn up the football field. He brings golds home for his track and field team and is a top-notch honor student. Peterson hopes to turn his love of education into a career of educating new generations by majoring in secondary education focusing on math and history.
One of Peterson’s mentors, that he states has helped nurture his high school wrestling career, is Lyle Cronk, Mission-Charlo head wrestling coach.
“We are all very, very proud of him. Not only for his accomplishments in wrestling, football, track, and in the classroom, but because he worked very hard for it,” Cronk said.
Peterson also said his older brother, Jame, was instrumental in his wrestling achievements and has always looked up to him.
Though Peterson has achieved big things in his time spent at Charlo High School, he remains humble.
“I’m just excited to compete at the higher level of competition,” he said. “And I really want to thank my coach, my family, and everybody in the community for their support. They’ve been amazing.”
At Arizona State, Peterson will compete in wrestling and study secondary education in math and history along with a sports management at the Barrett Honors College.
Peterson was also selected for a prestigious statewide wrestling scholarship.
For the eighth year in a row Alexander (Zander) Blewett, III, a trial lawyer from the personal injury law firm of Hoyt & Blewett PLLC in Great Falls, Montana, has offered three $1,000 scholarships to the top student wrestlers around the state of Montana for Classes AA, A and B/C.
The scholarships are awarded to the top wrestler from each school classification that has displayed the best combined qualities of wrestling and academic achievement. Petersen won the Class B-C scholarship. He was a 2013 and 2014 state champion at 170 pounds and carries a 3.7 GPA.
Petersen was undefeated his final two years of high school, with his last loss coming as a sophomore in the state championship finals against National Greco champion Barrett Stanghill of Drummond. In 2013 he won the Tournament of Champions, an All-Star High School wrestling tournament sponsored by the Hoyt and Blewett law firm.
“The applicants were impressive as ever,” Blewett said. “I don’t know if I have ever seen a more tenacious competitor than Jacen Petersen. He is the type of guy who lives to compete and puts it all on the line.”
The winner in Class A is Cody Lemons of Frenchtown High School. Mathew Welch of Billings Skyview is the winner of the Class AA scholarship.