Oregon Bound: Spencer Petras ’18 on his commitment to Oregon State

Alexa Barnes '18, Editor-in-Chief

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Spencer Petras '18Courtesy of Bill Schneider

“You’ll make sure you tell her how you always wear your mouthguard because you don’t want to mess up your smile, right?” With a laugh Spencer Petras replied, “Of course Dr. Kaplan!” then explained, “That’s my orthodontist.” The six-foot-five Bay Area native is used to being noticed, but lately it’s been for his promising athletic potential, not his smile. On May 29th, Spencer Petras, Marin Catholic’s Varsity Quarterback, committed to Oregon State University. The Roar sat down with Spencer this summer to talk about his recent commitment, his football career, and what the future may hold.

Though dreams of playing college football had always been on the horizon, in his first year at Marin Catholic, Spencer Petras battled for the Freshman Team Quarterback spot. In the second game of his freshman  season, Petras broke his arm, but despite his injury Petras attended every practice, cheering on his teammates, and demonstrating his commitment. The end of his first season was only the beginning of his recruitment journey. “For me [the process] started early, so Freshman year I started going to different camps, run by different colleges, and just trying to show off what I can do as a player. I think that’s the same for most […] who are trying to go to college [for football].”

As a sophomore, Petras returned to Dino Ghilotti Stadium, earning the starting Quarterback spot on Marin Catholic’s Junior Varsity Team, and spent this past year as the starting Quarterback on the Varsity Team. As the Wildcats ended their 2016 season, the recruiting process began to speed up. “The offseason from Junior to Senior year is a big one, that’s when [colleges] start to offer.” said Petras, who received an impressive fourteen.

While Petras received his offers and made his final selection, a flurry of articles detailing his selection process were published, one even claiming “Oregon State has its quarterback of the future.” (The Oregonian) Though he brushed off claims of being “Quarterback of the future,” Spencer did agree with his coach Mazi Moayed’s assessment. In a story printed in the Marin Independent Journal, Moayed identified Petras’ coachability and work ethic as some of his most impressive qualities. “I mean, it’s good to be known as a hard worker. Being coachable and a good leader, that’s how I’d like to be known.” said Petras.

In the end, it came down to four schools–UC Berkeley, San Diego State University, Syracuse University and, of course, Oregon State University. Noting the impact Marin Catholic’s football program had on his decision, Petras stressed his appreciation for MC’s Head Coach, Mazi Moayed, who played an integral role in the recruitment process. “Coach Maz wouldn’t make the decision for me, but he was huge in helping me evaluate all aspects of a school before I made my decision. He’s an incredible coach, and his ability to help players with recruiting  is second to none.” When asked why he chose Oregon State, Petras simply said, “There were a lot of reasons, but mainly it had to do with the fit for me as a person there. I was looking at a lot of awesome schools, but I feel like I fit in the best socially, academically, and athletically at Oregon State.” Indeed “finding your fit” is the mantra of many college counselors, who stress the importance of finding a school with an appropriate balance between one’s ideal academic life, social scene, and in some cases athletic involvement.

As he finds his footing within the collegiate football scene, Spencer is also adjusting to his new role as somewhat of a public figure. “I think that, going to Marin Catholic, you have to set a good example in your community, and that just gets heightened when you play football at Marin Catholic.” The Oregon-bound athlete is no longer just a member of the Marin Catholic community, as of early August, he’s also the only current student followed by Marin Catholic’s Twitter account–a popular network for potential athletic recruits and fans alike.

The narrative of a Marin Catholic Quarterback headed to a Division One school for Football may sound familiar. Jared Goff, ‘13, attended Marin Catholic, where he lead his team to a State title game. The Quarterback then went on to UC Berkeley, where he started his Freshman season opener. Goff then left Cal after three seasons, and was drafted to the Los Angeles Rams as the first overall pick during the 2016 NFL draft. With an offer from Cal on the table, some have begun to speculate: Is Spencer Petras the next Jared Goff? At first, Petras said “Emotionally, it was big, especially seeing everything that went on with Jared, and how successful he was, it was like ‘whoa.’” But with his athletic career on the line, Petras could not afford to make an emotionally charged decision. “When it got down to it, I didn’t really let the emotion or stuff like that get into it. I’m a totally different person and I’ve got to choose to go on the path that’s right for me.” said Petras.

Though Spencer Petras ultimately chose Oregon State over Cal, like Goff, he will be leaving Kentfield after the first semester of his Senior Year, to join his new team in Corvallis for the 2018 Spring Semester. The decision to join the Beavers for practice could prove advantageous as Petras fights for Oregon State’s starting Quarterback spot.

Academically, Petras hasn’t decided what he’d like to pursue, but noted “I’ve always been interested in sports and athletics, so I’ve thought about sports medicine and kinesiology. But what I’d love is to play in the NFL, that’s my dream, and my goal.” Would Petras, following in the footsteps of other promising collegiate Quarterbacks, leave the Beavers early to pursue his NFL dreams? “It depends on the situation. A degree is huge, but I think if any player in college has the opportunity to play in the NFL, it’s important to consider seizing the opportunity.”

Right now, however, the Quarterback is focusing on more immediate goals. Marin Catholic will take the field for their first preseason game on August 26th, and it’s clear that Spencer Petras is excited. “Watch out for Marin Catholic football this year, it’s going to be a big year. If we reach our potential, it will be a special year for MC Football.” Petras said, with a smile. Here at The Roar, we certainly hope so. On behalf of the Marin Catholic Community, we wish Spencer and his teammates the best of luck in their future endeavors, both on and off the field.

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