Uploaded: Wed, Oct 26, 2011, 12:59 pm
Wolves quarterback to be featured on ESPN at Florida invitational
Zach Kline will be headed to the Sunshine State over winter break, but not to take in the sun, surf and sand along Florida beaches.
Instead, the San Ramon Valley High senior and varsity quarterback will be trudging up and down the Tampa Bay Rays' field in St. Petersburg at the Underarmour All-American Game, an invitation-only football game that pits 90 of the country's best high school players against each other on a live ESPN broadcast.
"It's a great opportunity. I'm extremely, extremely ecstatic to go in and represent Cal Berkeley, San Ramon Valley High School, my friends, family and everyone that has supported me over the years," said Zach, who will graduate early to join the Bears' football team in January.
The All-American Game will be held on Thursday, Jan. 5 with teams of 45 going head-to-head on Tropicana Field. Players will also attend a skills challenge and four practices that will determine team captains and starters. Underarmour players were chosen by ESPN recruiters who selected athletes from the ESPN-U 150, a list of the top 150 players in the United States; Zach is currently ranked 58.
"They recruited him as a premiere talent," said Game Director Drew Russell. "If you're a big-time prospect, you're on our radar."
Among San Ramon Valley supporters Zach is known for his strong arm and speed, but San Ramon Valley' s head varsity football coach said Zach's knowledge of the game will set him apart from the other 89 participants.
"I think going into this year he had the tools, meaning a big arm, good feet, a fair understating of what to look for and where the ball should go, and I think as we've gone through this year he's now learning to use those tools," said Mark Kessler. "Going forward in this game, there's a lot of talent on the field and I think Zach will prove that he's someone we should watch as he goes forward through his career."
Still, Russell said players are chosen not only for their athletic ability, but for their accomplishments on and off the field.
"I think he's a special player but I think what makes him great in my eyes is the type of kid he is. He's just out there having fun and doing something he really loves to do --competing with his teammates on Friday night," Kessler said.
In its five-year history, the Underarmour All-American has launched the careers of several college football starters and even a few professionals. Current Heisman Trophy candidate Trent Richardson is a 2009 All-American alum.
"These guys are the future of college football and the NFL," Russell said.
Once on the field, Zach said he will bring leadership to the team and plans on having a good time.
"I'm going to have as much fun as I can and try and be a complete quarterback," he said. "I want to do well, it's a statement to show my talent again and prove that Cal Berkeley is going to have a great recruiting class and have a great team."
Posted by Marcus
a resident of Danville
on Nov 15, 2011 at 8:44 am
Wow, check out the previous post by Scott -- it contains such detailed, one-sided diatribe that it seems to me it could only be written by a family member of Kline's as a "defense" to the other posts suggesting that Kline is over-rated. OK, you fired your bullets. Here goes my response --
I can't believe Scott is discrediting RB Weiss' 265 yards in the SRV-MV game simply because the defense "was geared to stop Zach." Oh brother, check your ego at the train station. Only a dad would write that. What an ego-ridden comment. I was there at the game -- and i didn't leave it saying, "Wow, I saw a real high school elite QB tonight", and I've seen a few in my time. I've seen several SRV games this year -- the STATS, Scott, tell me that SRV pulled out several close 4th quarter games this year against sub-par teams with losing records, hardly a case for nationally elite leadership.
This week, the ESPN football analysts have been arguing about Tim Tebow's lack of beauty in his play for Denver, but they constantly come back to the fact that he is winning, which is the bottom line. They all agree that no matter how you get it done, winning is the final determination. What's Kline won for SRV? While other QB's in the country (and at DLS) are piling up league and state titles (yes, it's a TEAM sport remember), Kline led SRV to a glorious 7-5 record last year, barely above .500, and a 3rd or 4th place finish in EBAL. This year, via head-to-head tie-breaker, they were 3rd again. Is that what you call successful?
In the early season, the SRV Times wrote an article about Kline and he popped off that this year's team will be the best ever at the school. You gotta back those kind of comments up, as he'll learn. Not even close. He did not back that up, I don't care what kind of offense his team ran. Who cares? 3rd place in EBAL? And I'm not willing to agree that the EBAL as you say is one of the "toughest in the country". Sure, DLS tilts the scale because they are annually nationally elite, but the league also has the likes of Livermore, Amador Valley, Granada, and Foothill, who are hardly tough year in and year out. I've lived here for 32 years and have followed the league. There are conferences in Ohio, Penn, FLA, and Texas that would blow the EBAL (excpet DLS) away every year. And even this year, when DLS went out to play the #2 team in the USA in FLA, it got blown away on national TV. It wasn't even close. And I like DLS, but it was a blow-out.
Scott, you say that you "can't compare" the QB's "even in head-to-head" games. Why not? That line of logic sounds every bit the loser's justification of a parent. I'm sure that if SRV would have beaten DLS and MV you wouldn't be saying that. Last I looked, the past 2 years SRV was 1-4 against DLS/MV, and I'm counting the NCS win last year, or it would have been 0-4 in league play. Elite?
Scott, don't dare to insult us and suggest that me and the other writers "learn a little about football" -- I don't know about the others, but I played it through college, thank you. Did you?
Your argument about "the totality of the facts" to me ends with your comment "you have to look at the whole season." OK, let's do -- the fact that when they pull out this year's yearbook 10 years from now, nothing will change about the scores and record (the types of offense the different coaches ran -- really, Scott?), and the fact will remain that during the Kline era the best the team could do was 3rd place. I do not intend that to sound mean, and have nothing personally against Kline or any other student-athlete, but you fired a few barbs at us, and you seem to put a lot of stock in the facts. Check my comments. Those are the facts.