SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Christian Brothers High School (CBHS) community in Sacramento is mourning the loss of a beloved former student athlete.
22-year-old Spencer Webb graduated from CBHS in 2018. He was killed in an apparent accident, after he fell and hit his head on rocks Wednesday in a swimming area outside Eugene, Ore.
“It's one of those things which you don't want to believe when you first hear it, and it was devastating,” CBHS Athletic Director Dale Milton told ABC10 Thursday.
He and CBHS Admissions Director Kristen McCarthy are among those who learned of Webb’s death Wednesday night.
“I'm heartbroken. Spencer was a really wonderful young man,” McCarthy said.
Webb transferred to Christian Brothers High School for his junior year. He graduated in the spring of 2018 as a celebrated student athlete, having committed to the University of Oregon with a full ride scholarship on national signing day earlier that year.
On that day, he told ABC10 he wanted to set an example, “just showing the young kids that no matter what, you always have a chance.”
He knows this firsthand, after a tough childhood.
As he explained to ABC10 in a Sports Standout feature during his senior season, “My mom walked out on me when I was very young… (She and my dad) had substance abuse problems, and that was pretty tough.”
Tyler Almond was Christian Brothers’ head football coach at the time. He said Webb served as an inspiration to others.
“I remember having a conversation with him about how important it was for other kids in his situation to see him succeed,” Almond said, tears of grief filling his eyes. “This was a really, really impactful life in just 22 years.”
Webb’s football career was exploding at the University of Oregon, where this Division One athlete played tight end and was heading into his junior year.
“Spencer is the proof that you can overcome great adversity and live your dream,” McCarthy said. “He was truly living his dream. He loved the University of Oregon. He loved playing football. He loved his teammates and his friends.”
Staff members say Christian Brothers was never far from Spencer’s heart. He came back whenever he could. In fact, he was back just three weeks ago, encouraging the current football team.
Back in December, Milton said Webb crashed the staff Christmas party.
“We took pictures with him. You know, he lit up a room,” Milton said. “That's the way he was when he was here.”
He will be remembered by the many people who loved him.
CBHS staff members say they like the idea of a scholarship or some other long-term way of memorializing Webb, but right now the grief is still fresh.