AJ Beasley and Jack Peterson are two of the finest athletes in the Somerset High School Class of 2019. And while they haven't been teammates in any sport since youth baseball, they will be college classmates.
Beasley and Peterson have both accepted athletic scholarship offers to attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Beasley will compete with the UMD baseball program and Peterson will become part of the Bulldogs football program.
Though they weren't teammates, Beasley and Peterson have been classmates many times in their SHS years. They estimated they usually had two classes per semester together as they took many of the more challenging classes the high school had to offer.
Beasley is incredibly passionate about baseball. When they were asked about their time together in youth ball, Peterson watched in amazement as Beasley recalled detail after detail about their seasons in fifth through seventh grade. Beasley talked about the team reaching the state tournament in sixth grade, remembering every detail of the games.
They were both drawn to UMD because of its academic standards, along with the athletic opportunities. Peterson said the football coaches arranged with him to meet with the head of the Pre-Med group because that's where he wants to take his career.
"I was always looking for a balance. They were the one school that sent it the whole mile," Peterson said.
Beasley said UMD wasn't too small or too big, and the university gives business majors plenty of hands-on opportunities as part of their curriculum.
Peterson has a detailed workout plan for the summer to get him ready for football. He said UMD wants him to play middle linebacker, the position where he is most comfortable. He will go to UMD several times during the summer to get indoctrinated into the football plans. Peterson said UMD runs a system similar to the Somerset football team, which should help him transition more quickly.
Beasley isn't quite done with his high school career yet. He will play in the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Games at UW-Oshkosh on June 28-29.
Beasley said the UMD coaches are looking at him to be a second baseman and he's hoping to compete for a starting job as a freshman. Beasley has played with several Bulldogs through his various baseball travels, so he's expecting that he will fit into the UMD program quickly.