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.
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"