Mizell looks for senior success
By Joe Williams, Sports Editor
Page quarterback Zak Mizell warms up. PHOTO BY JOE WILLIAMS
Nearly three years ago, things looked dire for the Page Patriots. Going into the fourth game of the year with a 1-2 record the coaching staff answered their concerns with an almost unheard of decision; naming a freshman as the starting varsity quarterback.
Turns out, it was a pretty good idea.
Senior Zak Mizell is sometimes overlooked in a county with a couple of bigger field generals, but none possess the 5-10, 180-pound scrapper’s experience. He understands that with great experience comes great responsibility.
“I’ve got to be a leader on this team,” Mizell said last week before a scrimmage contest. “The experience gives me more responsibility. I’ve got to help carry them, give them help when they need it.”
Mizell is an Iowan by birth, transplanted as both a resident and a quarterback.
“The Pop Warner League in Iowa had just finished try-outs when we moved. They put me at quarterback because I could throw the ball. Ever since then, I’ve just been throwing the ball.”
And he’s thrown it well, notching over 2,100 yards last year alone. Going into his final prep season, he is just short of 4,000 for his career. He hasn’t always had it easy; like any quarterback, he’s faced the pressure of blitzers and linebackers closing in, intent on separating both ball and helmet from his body. Mizell has developed a reputation for handling that pressure with ease.
“I just try to stay as calm as I can,” he said. “If I start thinking too much, things just go downhill.”
So far in the pre-season, Mizell has been able to stay calm, thanks to an experienced offensive line.
“Our line is great. They shut down McGavock, a 6A school, in a scrimmage. We barely had any pressure.”
If Mizell were four inches taller, recruiters would be knocking his door down; at 5-10 he knows there are opportunities out there to play college football, it’s just finding the right place. Whether he gets to play the game or not, medical school sits in his future.
“This is the last year I’m guaranteed to play. I just want to go out and do the best I can.
“I try to play every play like it’s my last, because you never know what might happen.”
Posted on: 8/8/2013