Former Beloit Trojan Wrestlers Show Out at NJCAA Nationals

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.

Wayne Petterson

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.

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(Photos courtesy of Nate Naasz)

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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