by Sena Hughes
A few years ago, Whitworth quarterback Bryan Peterson never pictured himself as a college football player.
After a phenomenal athletic career in both football and baseball at West Valley High (Spokane), it was the latter sport that he chose to pursue. While driving home from a high school graduation rehearsal in 2008, Peterson received word that the Boston Red Sox had offered him a contract to play for them at the minor league level.
“At that point I had a baseball scholarship to play in college, but I was really excited to go to the pros,” Peterson said. “It had been my dream since I was young.”
Peterson spent the next three years as an outfielder for the Red Sox, playing in various states and countries at the AA level. In spring 2011, his gut began to tell him he would be released and he knew it was time to pursue an education. Football was not necessarily on his radar, but his passing arm was still there.
“Even the years I wasn’t playing football, I would play catch with [family and friends],” Peterson said. “I’d throw to them not really thinking I’d be playing college football.”
Peterson had a strong freshman season for the Bucs in 2011, stepping up as full-time quarterback midseason. He passed for over 1,400 yards over the season, completing 122 out of 193 passes, and earned all-Northwest Conference honorable mention.
Whitworth wide receiver Austin Ehlo credits Peterson as the reason he came to Whitworth. Ehlo and Peterson trained together before becoming Pirates and that friendship and bond has translated into dynamic chemistry on the field.
Peterson is not only a great player, but also a leader for the Bucs on and off the field.
“He’s a leader,” Ehlo said. “He’s the team leader and he’ll step up to the plate and take on whatever is in front of him. He’s always positive and he’s always happy. It doesn’t matter if we’re down. He just always has that ‘go get ‘em’ attitude.”
Peterson said it’s just his passion for the game of football and for life that inspires him.
“I want to be doing things that I enjoy doing,” Peterson said. “I’m going to attempt to be the best I can be just because I enjoy doing it.”
In the opening two games for the Bucs this season, Peterson completed 16 of 24 passes and threw for 239 yards, including two touchdowns passes.
Contact Sena Hughes at email@example.com