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Hawkeye QB Spencer Petras talks financial literacy with Charles City students

Hawkeye QB Spencer Petras talks financial literacy with Charles City students
Press photo by John Burbridge
Charles City senior Mario Hoefer, right, talks with Iowa Hawkeye starting quarterback Spencer Petras about what it takes to play football at the college level during Petras’s visit to Charles City High School last Friday. Also pictured are Alex Jirgens from KIMT, Petras’s agent Shane Kelley, and Charles City assistant football coach Bob Kloberdanz.

By John Burbridge

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CHARLES CITY — When Iowa Hawkeye starting quarterback Spencer Petras visited Charles City High School last Friday to discuss financial literacy and discipline with students, it was only a matter of time before someone tossed him a football-related question.

“How do you expose yourself to college coaches?” senior Mario Hoefer asked.

As an All-District First-Team receiver who had a penchant for making spectacular catches as well as positive-yardage runs after the catches, Hoefer managed to get himself noticed for those who were paying attention this past season — especially after his act of sportsmanship in helping a laid-low opponent went viral resulting in national accolades.

Still, Division I or even II and III offers remain at a premium, and there’s no guarantee that even standout prep players will get to continue their careers in college.

“You’ve got to put yourself out there,” Petras responded. “If a coach hasn’t taken notice of you, maybe you need to go to their camps so they can see what you can do.”

It was hard for D1 coaches to ignore Petras’s prep career. A three-year starter for Marin Catholic, a California football powerhouse located near the San Francisco Bay, Petras broke school season records set by his predecessor — Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff — in passing yards (4,157) and touchdown passes (50 … coupled with just 2 interceptions), and helped his team go 35-5 in a span of three seasons.

“When I saw (Goff) doing so well at California, it helped my confidence in thinking that I could also play at that level,” Petras said.

How a West Coast kid landed in Iowa City may just be another case of the specter of coast-to-coast recruitment. But Petras seemed destined to end up talking in a CCHS classroom considering the family and business ties involved.

Petras is a regional spokesman for First Security Bank and Trust. He’s featured in ads promoting the virtues of financial responsibility learned at a young age.

Don’t be a Spend-ster … Listen to Spencer is the ad campaign catchphrase.

Petras has an agent, Shane Kelley — President of ProMondo Sports. Note: last summer the NFL Players Association agreed to allow agents to represent college athletes in Name, Image and Likeness deals.

Kelley is the husband of Emily Kelley, a former standout athlete at Charles City who later played golf for Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Emily is the Senior Vice President of Octagon, a sports/entertainment company, and has worked for the PGA as the Senior Manager of Business Development.

Emily is the daughter of Charles City resident Jeff Sisson, who just so happens to be the Business Development Officer at First Security Bank and Trust.

During the Question-and-Answer sessions with Charles City business students as well as with members of the Comet football team, Emily served as moderator and added some of her own questions to help Petras elucidate a day in the life of a college starting quarterback what it takes to play at the Division I level.

When a question was thrown back to the students about what their futures might bring, there was a pall of silence — understandable, perhaps, considering recent events.

Petras spoke about his future plans after playing his last down for the Hawkeyes. An All-Big Ten Honorable Mention selection as a sophomore with one more year of eligibility left, Petras indicated that he wants to make a career out of football … maybe not as a NFL player like fellow alumnus Goff if circumstance doesn’t allow, but possibly giving back to the game as a coach.

As for being an educational/motivational speaker …

“This is the first time I’ve ever done something like this,” Petras said of speaking to students. “The first couple of classes went well.”

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