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Sun File Photo / Chris Aarhus University of Jamestown safety J.T. Petsch finished his All-American career this fall. He recently played in the National Bowl Game in Miami and is training in hopes that there’s a “possibility out there” to continue playing football.

Petsch’s passage: Jimmie grad moves on from All-American career, will test the waters at next level

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Petsch’s passage: Jimmie grad moves on from All-American career, will test the waters at next level
Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

J.T. Petsch originally viewed Jamestown as a stepping stone to something bigger.

But as things turned out, it ended up being a good fit for both.


“Coming to Jamestown to be honest I thought it might end up being kind of a 2-year JUCO-type thing,” the Mesa, Ariz., native said. “But it grew into something bigger and better. I’m really glad with how it turned out.”

Petsch, the All-American defensive back for the Jimmies, graduated last week, but may have to put his degree in communications and marketing on hold for a while.

Petsch played in the National Bowl Game in Miami on Dec. 8, which featured NAIA, NCAA Division II and III players. Petsch had six tackles, three pass breakups and played a lot on special teams.

In fact, Mike Stock, a 17-year NFL coaching veteran, told Petsch he had what it takes to play on Sundays.

“That was kind of an eye-opener for me,” he said. “I’m going to go home, talk to my parents keep training and working out. I’m not exactly sure where it’s going to lead yet, but maybe there’s a possibility out there for me. We’ll see.”

Only all-conference players were invited to play in the game and Petsch said the talent on the field was significant.

“It was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I was kind of just expecting it to be another game,” he said. “There were a lot of amazing players there. It was humbling to be a part of it.”

Petsch was the leading tackler for the Jimmies in his junior and season seasons. He had five career interceptions and 10 pass breakups and provided an imposing presence from his safety position at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds.

“I really enjoyed being part of the program here and the players I got to play with were great,” Petsch said. “This season I was surprised with our record because we felt like we should’ve won more games, but we were able to win a conference championship and that was one of our goals.”

Petsch didn’t have a lot of free time during his time on campus. He also competed in track and field for the Jimmies. He learned the value of time management, but admitted he wasn’t always on his game in that area.

“I didn’t always manage my time as well as I should have, but I enjoyed the whole experience of playing both football and track. It was a lot of fun,” he said. “For me going to Jamestown was the right decision and I wouldn’t change anything.”

Sun sports editor Dave Selvig can be reached at (701) 952-8460 or by e-mail at

Dave Selvig
Selvig has been a sports writer at The Sun since 1999 and sports editor since 2009.
(701) 952-8460