HomeHopewell Valley NewsHopewell SportsPeterson continues Hopewell Valley’s success with 12th Man Club award

Peterson continues Hopewell Valley’s success with 12th Man Club award

Terrance Peterson first put on shoulder pads when he was six years old.

Then, he was just happy to be out playing football with his friends.

The now junior at Hopewell Valley Central High School didn’t really know much about sports at the time when he was playing for the Hamilton Township Pop Warner program. 

From playing with his friends and getting connected with the game of football, Peterson’s love for the game grew.

It helped him learn the game as a player in the Bordentown Youth Football program and propelled him to becoming an emerging star for Hopewell Valley this past fall.

Peterson was honored on Dec. 4 at Massimo’s Restaurant in Robbinsville when he received the 12th Man TD Club’s Charles J. “Fuzzy” Falzone Memorial Award for the Non-Prep Lineman of the Year.

It’s the second straight year that a Hopewell Valley lineman has won the award. Patrick Allex was honored with the Charles J. “Fuzzy” Falzone Memorial Award for his great senior season last fall.

“Just being recognized by people who voted for me because they thought I was the best lineman this season is important to me,” Peterson said. “It’s a very humbling experience. It means a lot”

Peterson, who is 6-0 and weighs in at 215, enjoyed a stellar junior campaign when he starred on the line at end and also rotated inside as well as moving over to linebacker.

He racked up 71 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and four  sacks to anchor the Bulldogs’ defense. The junior also had two blocked punts and two blocked kicks on special teams during the season.

“It’s a testament to the program and how the program is run,” Peterson said. “There are individual awards that are given out, but it’s the culture of the program that allows guys like me and Pat (Allex) to win awards like this. It’s just a testament to the culture we have at Hopewell Valley.”

Hopewell Valley went 6-3 in 2019 and qualified for the state playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season.

The Bulldogs fell to the eventual state sectional champion, Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, in the first round of the NJSIAA South Jersey, Group 3 playoffs. Woodrow Wilson defeated Hopewell Valley, 49-7.

The Camden school went on to win the South Jersey Regional Group 3 state championship when it defeated Wall Township, 12-7, in the playoff title game on Dec. 8 at Rutgers University.

Peterson was at linebacker when he recorded 15 tackles in the loss against Woodrow Wilson.

Peterson’s athleticism, versatility and hard working mindset allowed Hopewell Valley to use him in different roles to help the team’s defense be successful throughout the season.

“He’s so versatile and can play multiple positions because of his pure athleticism,” said Hopewell Valley coach Dave Caldwell. “He’s relentless. His get off is so quick that you try to put him in positions where he can be successful and limit what the opponents offense does.”

Peterson’s biggest attribute is being a high character kid and being a great leader for the team in the eyes of Caldwell.

“The harder he works, the more humble he becomes,” Caldwell said. “He comes to practice everyday ready to work. He doesn’t brag about his stats on social media. He lets his pads do the talking on the field. He’s a great leader for our program.”

For Peterson, the best part about this past season was the memories he made with his teammates. 

From the team bonding trip the program took to Maryland in the summer to the great times he had with his teammates during the season as they all worked hard together to make it to the playoffs, Peterson will always remember the 2019 fall season.

Being honored alongside at the 12th Man TD Club’s dinner with his former Pop Warner teammate Kevin Boswell, who won the Frank “Mammy” Piscopo Memorial Award for the Non-Prep Player of the Year after his great season at running back for the Hamilton West High School football team, Peterson credits his achievements to never giving up and striving to always get better after suffering an injury freshman year.

“It’s great to bounce back sophomore and junior year and have the opportunity to say going into my senior year that I won this award,” Peterson said. “It’s a testament to never giving up on yourself.”

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports


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