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For Petaluma High's Teddy Scranton, academics come first

Ted Scranton, center, along with his parents, Ron and Tamie Scranton, will be honored at the National Football Foundation awards dinner.

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:27 p.m.

Ted Scranton is, arguably, the best football player at Petaluma High School — arguably only because many don't see Scranton's physical execution on both sides of the interior line.

As good as he is on the football field, Scranton is even better in the classroom.

Both the senior's academic and athletic achievements, along with his community service, will be acknowledged Feb. 21 when he is honored at the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame awards dinner. Scranton and Dustin Sloane of Sonoma Valley were the two Redwood Empire players selected for the prestigious award that is based on academic excellence, football performance and community service.

Scranton is well qualified for the honor by all three criteria.

As an athlete, he was Petaluma High's best lineman on both sides of the football, dominating front line play on offense, and leading the team defensively with his tackling and aggressive play. He is also an outstanding track athlete who qualified for the Redwood Empire Meet in the discus last season and has hopes of throwing his way to the state meet this spring.

Academically he has a 4.6 grade point average and a 4.8 GPA in the first semester of his senior year. He is vice present of the senior class.

He still finds time to help at a camp for elementary school kids at Valley Vista Elementary School, run in the Relay for Life and make a mission trip to help build housing in Mexico with the New Life Christian Fellowship.

As with many high achievers, Scranton says finding time for all his activities is no big deal.

“I feel like I'm very efficient with my time,” he explained. “When I do my homework, that is the one thing I concentrate on. I try to do one thing, get it done and go on to something else.”

He is appreciative of the award and accompanying $1,000 scholarship, but the real award was just the opportunity to play and enjoy the football season.

“Football was a lot of fun,” he said. “It was a great senior year.”

After losing its first four games, Petaluma put things together for the Sonoma County League season, finishing with a 4-2 league mark and a 4-6 overall record, playing its non-league season against larger schools.

“I think we started rolling in the first half of the Rancho Cotate game,” Scranton said. Petaluma lost that game to one of the best teams in the Redwood Empire, 39-0, but played the Cougars to a standstill in the first half. “After that the offensive line came together,” Scranton observed.

As much fun as the 6-foot, 3-inch, 206-pound senior had playing football, academics may win out in his future.

He has already been accepted by the University of Southern California where it would be difficult for an athlete of his size to compete for a walk-on spot.

He is also considering the University of California at Los Angeles.

In addition, he has applied at the University of Oregon, the University of California at Davis and the University of California at Berkeley.

“I'd be happy going to any one of those schools,” he said.

His strongest academic subjects are math and science, and he is considering using those talents to step into some sort of business major.

On the other hand, he said he might consider trying to play at a smaller school like Cal Poly where his father played football.

Scranton said he is excited about moving on to college, but at the same time wants to enjoy his final semester in high school.

“I'm looking forward to the future and what I'm going to do,” he said. “I'm really excited about college, but I'm going to miss my friends. I really want to enjoy and remember my last semester of high school.”

And for him, that means more sports.

He tried track (throwing events) for the first time last spring and made it to the Redwood Empire Meet of Champions in the discus. His best throw was only 10 feet off the school record, an impressive effort for an athlete in his first year of competition.

“I really want to go to state,” he said. “I'm looking forward to the track season.”

Regardless of what happens during the spring or where he ends up next fall, Scranton will leave an impressive academic and athletic legacy at Petaluma High School.

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