St. John Vianney’s Dean Peterson celebrates winning a NJSIAA State Championships title in 2019. Peterson won his second state wrestling title March 7 in Atlantic City. John Blaine file photo
St. John Vianney’s Dean Peterson celebrates winning a NJSIAA State Championships title in 2019. Peterson won his second state wrestling title March 7 in Atlantic City. John Blaine file photo
Editor's Note: Pick up the April issue of The Monitor Magazine for the full interview with SJV’s Dean Peterson as he talks about wrestling, his state title win and living his faith.

Dean Peterson couldn’t be beaten. In fact, he couldn’t even be scored upon.

The St. John Vianney junior rolled through the NJSIAA State Wrestling Championships in the 120-pound finals with five straight wins by the combined score of 34-0, culminating with a 1-0 victory over Brick Memorial’s Vincent Santaniello March 7 in Atlantic City.

It marked the second straight state title for Peterson, who won at 112 pounds last year while wrestling with a broken hand in the championship bout. 

The top-seeded Peterson opened with a 15-0 technical fall over Jackson Memorial’s Luke Temple; followed with an 8-0 major decision over Brearley/Dayton’s Patrick Phillips, a 7-0 decision over Paulsboro’s Georgio Mazzeo and a 3-0 decision over Bergen Catholic’s Nick Kayal in the semifinals.

Peterson, who attends St. Mary Parish, Barnegat, and prays before every match, has won 77 straight high school matches since losing in the state finals as a freshman. He finished 42-0 this year.

Dean’s SJV teammate, Blake Clayton, also earned a medal with a third-place finish at 182 pounds after being seeded eighth.  After being pinned in the round of 16, Clayton recorded two pins in the consolation round before defeating Wall’s Jacob Whitworth by injury default in the third-place final.