There are two things key to Troy Peterson on the wrestling mat this season.
Stay on the offense, and remember the margin of error is minimal.
Peterson is off to a 14-1 start for Edgewood this season and is coming off a first-place finish at Perry High School’s Pin City Tournament last weekend. It was his first-ever tournament championship.
“It feels really good,” he said. “Especially considering all the weight I’m giving up.”
Peterson isn’t the typical heavyweight. He tips the scales in the neighborhood of 230 pounds. He had two options; drop to 215, or take his chances with much heavier guys.
He chose the latter, and so far, it looks like the right decision.
“I decided to stay there because I’m much quicker than the guys I go against,” he said.
That quickness was on display Saturday as Peterson racked up a string of wins on his way to winning the bracket.
After recording pins in the previous two bouts, Peterson went out and quickly scored a pair of takedowns and a near fall just in the first period against West Branch’s Greg Rockwell.
A reversal and two more near-falls in the second period followed by a smart and safe third period wrapped up the win.
“I thought Troy looked great,” Edgewood coach Gregory Stolfer said. “He stuck to the game plan, fired off his shots, got to his single, got to his double and was wonderful on top.”
Using the quickness in his feet to go with the powerful upper-body strength makes him an outstanding left tackle on the football field. Now they’re serving him well on the mat.
Peterson understands the importance of using that quickness to attack, according to Stolfer.
“Offense, offense, offense,” Stolfer said. “That has been his goal all season and he knows that he has to shoot to be a successful heavyweight. We’ve been putting in a lot of work, lifting and coming to practice. He’s really goal-oriented and everything he does, he knows why he’s doing it.”
Peterson also knows that giving up that much weight, a mistake can be the difference in winning or having nearly 300 pounds pressing down on him.
“It’s something I’m always thinking about,” he said with a laugh. “When I have someone on top of me, I’m thinking ‘should I really be doing this.’”
The answer is “yes,” but it’s why precision is of the utmost importance.
“One bad move, I get caught in something and I’m pinned,’ he said. “I have to be way faster than the average 285, I have to keep my offense working.”
Peterson has been a district qualifier for the past three years. This year his goal is to extend the season one more weekend by making it to the state tournament.
“I feel a lot more confident about my chances this year,” he said. “I’m a lot stronger and a lot quicker.”
Edgewood will be at home tonight to take on Pymatuning Valley.