Legendary Island Trees Coach Ted Petersen

Ted Petersen dedicated his life to kids. Ted Petersen, varsity wrestling coach of Section 8’s Island Trees Bulldogs, was inducted into the New York State wrestling Hall of Fame during a ceremony before the 1989 state finals. “The Coach” as he was simply referred to by the many friends and athletes whose admiration and respect he earned, was a community leader in his home town of Levittown. During the course of 33 years , he was a dedicated family man, physical education teacher, football, baseball , wrestling coach and the director of a summer camp for school children in the Adirondack Mountains.

bulldogTed Petersen dedicated his life to kids. Ted Petersen, varsity wrestling coach of Section 8’s Island Trees Bulldogs, was inducted into the New York State wrestling Hall of Fame during a ceremony before the 1989 state finals. “The Coach” as he was simply referred to by the many friends and athletes whose admiration and respect he earned, was a community leader in his home town of Levittown. During the course of 33 years , he was a dedicated family man, physical education teacher, football, baseball , wrestling coach and the director of a summer camp for school children in the Adirondack Mountains.

Wrestling evolved into Coach Petersen’s favorite sport. As a graduate of Cortland State University in 1958 and having no previous experience with the sport, Petersen took a job coaching the junior high wrestling team of his local school district “because they needed a coach.”  He read books, pursued knowledgeable coaches for their advice and even listened to his own young wrestlers to learn the rules and techniques.  He quickly developed his own theories and sought out some of the finest clinicians in the country in a continuing effort to keep abreast of the best and latest skills emerging in the rapidly advancing sport of amateur wrestling.

In 27 years as the Island Trees High School varsity coach, he compiled a team dual meet record of 325 wins, 70 losses and 4 ties. His team won 20 Conference Championships, 3 Section 8 Championships, produced 22 individual Section 8 Champions and 6 NYS Champions.
Despite numerous awards Petersen shunned the spotlight and preferred focusing his attention on the many children and athletes whom he inspired and helped guide into responsible and caring adults, living humbly and teaching his own personal standards of excellence which is summed up by Petersen’s favorite motto..'”SEEK THE HIGHEST”

Day 5… until Wrestling Alumni Match……….JAN 9TH FRIDAY…


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Even if you have to walk…
come to Island Trees High School..HOME OF BULLDOG WRESTLING..OFTEN DUPLICATED BUT NEVER REPLICATED…
THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 9TH 2009…7PM..(COME EARLY)
BE SURE TO SIGN IN.. SEE CAROL CARROZZA

7 thoughts on “Legendary Island Trees Coach Ted Petersen”

  1. This was the biggest alumni match ever.. we had over 60 alumni return to the Island Trees gym to meet again.. the alumni came from California, Florida, upstate, everywhere.. some hadnt seen each other for several decades.. wrestling champs from 1963 to present..
    Dave Pottruck, Gary Pottruck,Macchia brothers (state champs), Don Fay (State champ), Carl Carrozza (county champ 1970), Jimmy Matias, Frank Gauck (North shore champ), Sal Adesso (North shore champ), and on and on.. We also dedicated a brand new mat that night.. Mrs Petersen cut the ribbon..before our match with Locust Valley..
    All the bleachers were open and full again, as in days of yore..
    What a great night of celebration… Dane Petersen thank you for the fabulous keepsake photos of that night! ‘Old wrestlers never die.. they dont even fade away.. not at Island Trees”
    duck..

  2. Great turnout this year Jan 9th,2010. Island Trees did great.Will do better next year,Thanks to all the coach’s they did a great job.

  3. I never got a chance to truly thank the entire petersen family for sharing coach pete with me and my family. A day dosn’t go by that I dont practice the teachings of the coach in my everyday life. I belive the success Ive received throughout my life , Is directly atributed to one of the greatest men I,ve ever known COACH PETE

  4. I hope the Petersen/Cellan know how much they and most especially Coach Pete. and Russ have ment to me, through out my life. I truly thank them for the foundation they helped me to build, for myself. I agree with Frank Gauck, that not a day goes by that I do not think about some of what Coach Pete. said to me ovet the years. He was more than a coach and teacher; he was a mentor to being a good man. I hope I have become someone he would be proud to know, today. Two of his greatest teachings (in my opinion) were; Rip and tear and it’s nice to be nice. I always understood that to mean compete as hard as you can, but never lose sight of the importance of sportsmanship and character. Semper Fi, Coach.

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