Four-sport Petersen enters the spotlight

Playing multiple sports from first grade to senior year can make many athletes become burnt out, but for Sam Petersen, it’s the complete opposite. Competing in football, basketball and baseball for twelve years and golf for two years has shown Petersen all of the positive outcomes he can experience.

Petersen has experienced eight different state appearances. His freshman year his teams won runner-up in basketball and made an appearance in golf; his sophomore year, he qualified for state football and basketball, receiving third in basketball.

In my opinion, athletics are more of a mental game than a physical game because anyone could go into a sport, but it comes down to the mental aspect of it.

— Sam Petersen

 On top of all this, his junior year alone he qualified for state in football and golf, earned runner-up in basketball and won the state championship in baseball, and he was a starter for all four teams.

On the court and field, Petersen’s teammates notice his contributions to the team.

“He always has a positive attitude,” senior basketball teammate Carter Tichota said. “He’s always joking around, which makes playing basketball a lot more fun.”

Another leadership characteristic Petersen shows on the field is mentoring underclassmen. 

“When I was a freshman, he took me under his wing and gave me varsity reps,” sophomore Derek Wacker said. “Now I play varsity because I took it to heart what he has taught me as a receiver.”

Not only does Petersen’s leadership and positive attitude show in his games, but his whole mindset grows every year he continues playing sports.

“It builds your brain,” Petersen said. “In my opinion, athletics are more of a mental game than a physical game because anyone could go into a sport, but it comes down to the mental aspect of it.”

Being stronger mentally has taught Petersen many things, one being he never knows the outcome.

Senior Sam Petersen catches a pass against BRLD. Petersen gained 637 yards this season. (Laycee Josoff)

“One thing I’ve learned is that anything can happen like my freshman year (for basketball) no one thought twice about us,” Petersen said. “We just lost a bunch of seniors, then ended up playing in the state championship game, and it just kind of shows that it can be done once it gets towards the end of seasons.”

As he reaches the end of his high school career, Petersen knows he wants to continue his athletic career and knows what he is looking for in a college. 

“The environment,” Petersen said. “I’ve been at a small school my entire life, and I just want to switch it up and live in a big school environment type vibe.”

Regardless of the final choice Petersen makes, he knows playing all four sports will help him go further in college.

“Playing four sports, I’m basically a year-round athlete,” Petersen said. “I play sports every month of the year basically, so it’ll just keep me in the swing of things when I’m in college playing year-round.”

It’s not all about the success Petersen receives from sports but also how they have created who he is today.

“I think athletics have kind of made me who I am and have taught me life lessons,” Petersen said.

Another thing that has helped Petersen create who he is today is his dad, Pat Petersen.

“My dad was always with me throwing a football, shooting hoops, pitching me wiffle balls, or even taking me to the golf course,” Petersen said. “I wouldn’t be where I am to this day without him.”