AP NEWS

Ex-Zack-ly what S.C. needed

October 19, 2018

When his family moved to Washington Township for a couple years, Zack Christy came to a realization.

“I couldn’t stand not to play football,” Christy said. “It’s one of my favorite sports.”

After growing up in Hanna, where Christy played in South Central Pop Warner, he attended Washington for two years, between fifth and seventh grades. Christy spent a year in Valpo Pop Warner, where he teamed with Boone Grove star Brae’ton Vann. During his seventh grade year, his family moved back to La Porte County, LaCrosse specifically, though Christy returned to S.C. for football.

“The only time I thought about going to LaCrosse was if I had wanted to sleep in,” he said. “I can walk to LaCrosse (High School). I have to wake up at 5:30 (a.m.) now. LaCrosse was always like a rival to me.”

Satellites coach Buzz Schoff quickly took notice of Christy his freshman year, when he played special teams and a little defensive back.

“We knew he was one of those kids who was going to work out to be a pretty good football player,” Schoff said. “That junior class has six kids, it was only four then, but all four were pretty good players. Zack’s one who stuck out from the get-go. He looks the part. He’s naturally athletic.”

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Christy started at corner as a sophomore and now plays free safety. He was also working at tight end when injury attrition at receiver prompted another position move.

“Jake (Osburn) was having a really good season,” Schoff said. “Zack’s become our No. 1 receiver with Jake out. We needed to make sure he takes his game to the next level and he didn’t miss a beat. He’s our No. 1 read on most pass plays. He’s made some great catches, some great runs.”

Now an H-back, Christy works out of the slot, where he has also become a running threat on jet sweeps.

“I knew I had to pick it up,” Christy said. “This was the year for me to try to break out. I’m working on my confidence. It’s played a huge role in my success.”

The versatility of the position with a wider variety of pass routes particularly appeals to Christy, who models himself after dual-threat NFL backs Alvin Kamara of the Saints and Christian McCaffrey of the Panthers.

“I try to be more than one-sided. It makes me harder to defend,” Christy said. “I like to try to outsmart guys, make them think I’m doing different routes. I like to get one on one. I feel like I can out-athlete guys. I’ve caught a lot of jump balls.”

Christy has 23 catches for 427 yards and three touchdowns, while picking up 79 yards rushing on six carries.

“He’s real quiet,” Schoff said. “He can be goofy, but when it’s time to get serious, he’s the first one to get serious.”

An A-B student and also a starter on the basketball team, Christy plans to give up baseball to join a gym and hit the weights in hopes of bulking up to 200 pounds for next season.

“Being a three-sport athlete is exhausting,” he said. “I’m trying to get some other guys in to work out together, to get motivated to get better.”

South Central travels to West Central today for a Class A sectional game as the Satellites hope to break a four-game losing streak.

“Our schedule’s tough. We only play two 1As,” Christy said. “I like playing 1As, going up against kids, teams that are our size. A lot of guys are confident going into the game. Kyle (Schmack) and Jackson (Meloy) are great leaders. They keep the mindsets up.”