LESTER PETERSON

2022 NOMINEE – WRESTLING

Canon-McMillan High School

  • He won three WPIAL championships from 1967-69 and is one of 17 wrestlers in school history with this accomplishment.

  • Peterson became the tradition-rich program’s first PIAA individual state champion when he won the 1969 championship at 120 pounds, defeating defending champion Dave Clark of Clearfield, 10-9, after overcoming 6-0 and 8-5 deficits

  • He was a PIAA semifinalist in 1967 and 1968.

    As a sophomore, he lost by default – plagued with cramps – to Ed Osborne of Commodore Perry in the semifinals. The following season, he lost to Clearfield’s Norm Palovcsik in the 120-pound semifinals.

  • As a senior, Peterson broke through. He won the 120-pound class in the WPIAL, there were four regional champions in the bracket. He defeated Waynesburg’s Gary McClure in the finals, 9-6. McClure was a three-time WPIAL champion. 

    Peterson moved on to the state tournament at State College and earned a 9-6 semifinals decision over Dan Sanders of Lower Dauphin. He then met defending state champion Dave Clark of Clearfield in the PIAA championship match.
  • Peterson fell way behind Clark, who scored a take down, two-point near fall and an escape, in the second period to claim a 6-0 lead. Peterson managed a reversal and took Clark to his back for two near-fall points, cutting the lead to 6-4. Peterson escaped Clark in the third period to make it 6-5. But Clark scored another takedown for a three-point lead. Peterson escaped to make it 8-6. With time clicking away, he made his move. Peterson’s takedown and two-point near-fall in the final 45 seconds had turned into a 10-9 victory to win the state championship and end Canon-McMillan’s individual PIAA championship drought.

  • He also participated in track and field and excelled in the hurdles.
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