Jack Peterson is humble as they come.
He'll rave about the blocking of his linemen and the decision-making of quarterback Will Piletich, but if you ask him about himself, he'll change the subject faster than he buries a running back trying to sneak through a hole in the Somerset defense.
Peterson was named the Most Valuable Player for the 2018 Middle Border Conference football season as the leader of the Spartans. In the past two seasons alone, Peterson has rushed for more than 3,000 yards and accounted for 200 tackles.
While Peterson dished out bruising hits on both sides of the ball, he never missed a game in his high school career.
"I missed a few practices on a strained MCL," he said, saying he was thankful that he's been able to avoid any concussions with all of the onfield collisions he's been involved in.
Some of the most memorable of those collisions have been when Somerset faced St. Croix Central and Peterson went head-to-head with Central standout Ryan Larson. When the Spartans and Panthers played in the first of their meetings this season, Peterson and Larson smashed into each other. The sound of the hit reverberated across the field because both players generated so much power. Peterson said both players laughed as they got up from the hit, both of them stinging from the thunderous impact.
"Those games with him were a blast and there was some friendly banter too," Peterson said.
For Peterson and his classmates, he said they felt a responsibility to return the Spartan program to its previous glory.
"The group of guys we have this year is so close knit. That's why we did so well. Everyone was in it for each other," Peterson said.
He said he hopes the upcoming classes can build upon the success the Spartans began to see this season while tying for second place in the MBC.
Peterson said he plans to play football in college. He said he's more likely to get recruited as a running back, saying most college programs are looking for linebackers taller than he is. Peterson now weighs 215 pounds and he hopes to be up to 225 pounds by the time he starts his college career.
"Linebacker probably comes more naturally to me because it's more reaction-based," Peterson said.
Peterson isn't in a hurry to decide on a college because he has specific goals for his future. He's looking to study biology with plans of attending medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon.
"I love that stuff. I've been fascinated with it, the rehabilitation part of it too," Peterson said.
Peterson said each of the Spartans owe a debt to Spartan coach Bruce Larson.
"Lars knows the ins and outs of coaching. He teaches so many kids so many things, and it isn't just about football."
Larson said Peterson and his classmates on the team have put in a sincere effort to build a culture in the program that leads to long-term success for the team. Larson points to Peterson's work ethic, which has resulted in a grade point average above 4.0. Larson said Peterson's modesty is a big reason why he's a success.
"He's a humble person, a kind person. He's true to what he believes in. He's a good leader," Larson said.