• 11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
  • 31 NCAA Div. III individual championships
  • 161 Iowa Conference titles
  • 23 Iowa Conference all-sports titles
TJ's photo

TJ Peretti

Senior, wrestling

(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)


Hometown: Auburn, Wash.

High School: Mountainview

Why did you choose Central?
I chose Central mostly because I wanted to wrestle collegiately. On my recruiting visit, I immediately understood that Coach Van Kley was building something great here at Central and I wanted to be a part of it.

You are majoring in Political Science because…
For the most part, what I learn in Poli Sci courses is pretty interesting and can often be applied to current events. This major, accompanied with a Business minor, opens up doors to a number of potential career paths ranging from state and local government positions, criminal justice, and administration.

Who is your favorite professor?
My favorite professor is kind of a toss up. I really enjoy courses led by Dr. Green and Dr. Yanner. I chose those two because I tend to enjoy the content of their courses and I feel that each of these professors honestly cares about their students.

What is your favorite Central College memory?
I cannot choose just one memory that I would call my favorite because I have made so many here at Central. However, I do know that when I look back on my experience here I will remember all of the great relationships I have built and all of the great people that have gone out of their way to make me feel like I’m a part of their families.

What do you love most about being a member of the Central Dutch wrestling team?
The Central wrestling team is not just a team; we are a family and that is what I love most about it. We all have our own goals that we wish to accomplish and, in our efforts to reach those goals, we always look out for each other and make each other better wrestlers and better people along the way.

What is the toughest part about being a wrestler and why?
Most people would argue that the toughest part about being a wrestler are all the grueling practices we go through or maybe even cutting weight. Although both of these aspects are very true, I believe the hardest part about being a wrestler is the general lack of recognition that wrestlers receive, no matter what level of competition. This is because I believe wrestlers must sacrifice the most in order to reach their goals, although my opinion may be biased.

Which teammate is most likely to pull off (or attempt) the “flying squirrel” wrestling move?
This is a tough question, but I would have to say I think that Abe “Superfly” Fernandez is probably most likely to pull off the flying squirrel. He’s very athletic and extremely quick on his feet.

What is one thing people do not know about head coach Eric Van Kley?
One thing that I personally have found to be true of Coach Van Kley is that he is not only a coach, but also a mentor. It is apparent that he cares about how his athletes grow as individuals in life, as well as how they perform athletically. Coach Van Kley continuously goes out of his way to keep tabs on his wrestlers and how they are doing with school, family, girlfriends, wrestling, etc. If there is ever anything that I need to talk about, I know I can go to anyone on our coaching staff to simply lend an ear or to give sound advice.

Professional wrestling: real or fake?
Professional wrestling is obviously fake…I don’t think that needs any further elaboration.

If you were a professional wrestler, what would your nickname be (elaborate with costume, if you would like) and what would be your finishing move?
Brofessor-X and my finishing move would be “Let’s Get Weird.”

What is your favorite activity to do in your free time?
By far my favorite activity to do in my free time is to go fishing. It’s a pastime that I have come to enjoy with my dad since I was a young. Why? It’s pretty simple; it’s relaxing.

Who is your favorite wrestler of all time and why (professional, Olympic, collegiate, etc.)?
To be completely honest I do not follow collegiate or Olympic wrestling all that much. But if I were to pick a single wrestler it would have to be Jordan Burroughs, not because of his talent or how much he has accomplished at such a young age, but because of his mentality. No matter the circumstances, he knows that he will win because he knows he has prepared the way he should.

How did you feel when the International Olympic Committee removed wrestling from the Olympics? How did you feel when it was reinstated for 2020?
Although I do not follow Olympic wrestling all that much, it still hurt knowing that the IOC removed wrestling from the Olympics. This not only hurt the future of wrestling, but the future of international sport, because there is no other sport that develops honest and hardworking people quite like wrestling. So, when wrestling was reinstated for the 2020 games, it was a big relief.

Who is the one person, past or present, that you’d like to have lunch with?
It took me a while to decide who, but I think it would be Mark Twain. I’ve enjoyed reading various books by the author and would like to see what he was like in person.

“This season I hope that…”
This season I hope that I can walk away from the great sport of wrestling without any regrets. Even if I do not accomplish all my goals I want to know that I did not hold anything back for my own piece of mind. Because this is my last year of competing, do not want to look back on my experience here at Central College and wonder “what if”. I know many people who say that they could have won this match, or should have placed at this tournament”; I do not want to be one of those people. Instead I want to be able to say I put it all on the line, to be proud of my competitive wrestling career.

Bucket list (list items that you want to do/accomplish in your life)
To be honest I’ve never even thought about what I would put on a bucket list, so I will keep it short and simple:
1) I want to write a book.
2) I want to retire at a decent age (probably around 60) so I can do the things I enjoy with my friends and family.
3) I want my friends and family to know how much they mean to me every day. My friends and family mean the most to me.
4) I want to look back on my life without any regrets.


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