Former Beloit Trojan wrestlers Wayne Petterson and Blayne Harris both had big weekends at the NJCAA National Wrestling Tournament at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, IA. Petterson was inducted into the NJCAA Wrestling Hall of Fame and Harris competed for Cloud County Community College and went 2-2 on the weekend.
Petterson was Beloit High’s first ever state wrestling champion. He went on to become a three-time NAIA All-American at Fort Hays State and graduated in 1982. He then was the head coach at Fort Hays from 1982-1992. As a head coach in the NJCAA, he was at Colorado Northwestern CC from 1994-1997 and from 2005-2017, he was the head coach at Neosho County CC. During his 12 years there, he qualified 61 wrestlers for the NJCAA Nationals and had 23 NJCAA All-Americans and three National Champions. In between his stints at Colorado Northwestern and Neosho County, Wayne came back to Beloit and headed up the Beloit Wrestling Club, producing five Kansas state champions and 20 state placers.
Competing for Cloud County, Harris went 2-2 in the 125# weight class. He opened with a tough 7-5 loss to Greg Quinn of Niagara. He bounced back with two straight wins by fall, beating Isaac Garcia of Iowa Western in 6:58 and then winning over Michael Tuffy of Lackawanna in 3:59. He finished his tournament with a 14-4 major decision loss to Tramon Jenkins of Spartanburg Methodist.
(Photos courtesy of Nate Naasz)
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