A player fast on his feet

The Baltimore Sun

Hampered by a groin injury last season as a junior, St. Mary's Dontra Peters played in eight games and rushed for 670 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per carry and scoring six touchdowns.

Off to a good start this season, Peters, who was named to the Baltimore Touchdown Club's Super 22 team (made up of the state's top juniors), ran for 210 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in the Saints' 52-0 rout at John Carroll.

In a 50-0 romp over St. Vincent Pallotti the week before, Peters ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns.

Peters, 6 feet and 185 pounds, runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. He also is a sprinter on the Saints track team. Peters has a 3.3 grade point average and scored 1,330 on the SAT, although he plans to take it again.

An Annapolis native, Peters lives in Glen Burnie and transferred to St. Mary's from Old Mill last year. He uses his status as a high school athlete to try to steer younger kids in his neighborhood in the right direction.

How do you pronounce your first name?

People say it and spell it different ways, but it's pronounced DON-tray.

What are your thoughts on the rout of Pallotti?

Our team is coming together. We were excited for that game because it was the first game on our new home field, varsity football game under the lights. We were fired up about that. It got us moving early. We had big plays early and didn't have a lot of mistakes and capitalized on theirs.

What do you think about your new field?

It's great, way better than the practice field we had at Weems. You don't get dust in your nose on the new field like we did at Weems. ... I'm thankful for the new field in my senior year.

Does running on that synthetic turf make you feel faster?

It's just the feeling you get. It makes you seem like you are going faster. I like it. It makes you seem more professional.

Do you think your team has gotten the 36-0 loss at Gilman in your season opener out of your system?

Yes, we got it out early. They're a good football team, and I'm not taking nothing from them. But I think that game prepared us for the remainder of the season.

What are your thoughts on playing in college?

I just pray that I stay healthy this year. I'm working hard and think I can play college football and am looking for my chances. I'm looking at a lot of colleges and am not going to let anything go to waste. Kentucky is looking at me, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia, Boston College. Those are the big ones right now.

Where did most of the college scouts notice you?

At the Virginia camp this summer. I did well. ... There's always room for improvement, but I believe I can do it [play college football]. I would like to see myself on a Division I team. That's where my heart is. I'll be watching on TV and saying, "Man, I wish I could play there." That's what I am aiming for, but I would settle for a I-AA school. It's all good.

What will you pursue academically in college?

I like being able to fix stuff, take stuff apart and then put it back together. I think I will probably do something like engineering. I like science and math, my favorites. I'm striving to get better as a student.

You transferred from Old Mill to St. Mary's last year. How has St. Mary's been for you?

I just thank God for the opportunity I have now at St. Mary's. This school is a college-prep school, and it pushes the college thing a little bit farther. It should get me the chance to go to college and get my life together and stay on the right track.

How big is your family?

I have a lot of aunts and uncles, and my grandmother is a mother of 18. But as far as the little kids, it's like three of them my age [17]. Most people know me as Deon's little brother. Deon Peters who played football, basketball and lacrosse at Severn is my brother.

Is there anyone you look up to?

I would say Coach Ed [Clay, brother of St. Mary's head coach Mike Clay]. He was my coach in middle school and always motivated me and gave me words of encouragement. I think about things he said to me to make me keep on playing harder.

Can you talk about how working with young kids is important to you?

Yes, I like to work with little kids because they look up to older people. When they see someone else doing something, they think it's cool. I like to give them motivational words and tell them what not to do to keep them on the right track, because the children are the future. It's not the best community where I live, so I keep tabs on the little kids to make sure they are staying out of trouble and not getting involved with bad stuff. I keep a buzz in their ear, so, when they are doing something wrong, they can think of me.

What do you like to do in your leisure time?

I like music. That's my thing. I like all kinds, R&B;, oldies, and I also like to draw. Sometimes, I start looking at stuff that I think I can draw and sit down and draw something and try to make it exactly the same to give myself a little challenge. I draw figures like cars, houses and people and stuff like that. I keep myself guessing. You never know when it will start flowing.


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