Football | Zavala aims to be Greenfield’s starting quarterback

Greenfield Bruins’ Cristian Zavala looks to pass the ball during a game against Gonzales last year. As a new football season approaches, he plans to go for the starting quarterback position. (Jason Gallardo/Staff)

GREENFIELD — While playing King City last season, the Greenfield Bruins were down big in the fourth quarter, so Head Football Coach Adam Barsenas decided to make a change at quarterback and put in starting cornerback Cristian Zavala, even though he never played the position before. Now, Zavala wants to keep at it.

Last year the Bruins lost their starting quarterback Eric Andrew in their first game of the season, and then went on a two-game losing streak, only scoring 12 points.

In the lopsided game with the Mustangs, Zavala told his coach to put him in and was given the opportunity to start the next game against Gonzales.

In the beginning, it looked like Gonzales was going to run away with the game as they got off to a 19-0 lead and the Greenfield offense continued to struggle. But, in the second half, when the Bruins defense started to put things together, so did Zavala — bringing the Bruins back to win the game 33-25.

“Everything was new to me, it took me a while to get used to it,” Zavala said.

In his first game as starting quarterback, Zavala threw for 107 yards with two touchdown passes. Although the Bruins’ season didn’t go as planned with a 3-7 finish, his confidence kept growing with each game while playing quarterback.

As a new football season approaches, Zavala — who will play some defense this year — will also try to win the starting quarterback position.

Competing for the quarterback spot with Zavala are senior Eric Andrew and Naythen Hernandez, who was the starting quarterback on the JV team last year. During the offseason, all three QBs were active during the seven-on-seven opportunities.

Zavala said he has embraced the competition between the other quarterbacks.

“They push me to be better, and I push them to be better,” he said. “They are showing me a lot of things I didn’t know.”

During the Greenfield Bruins’ offseason, Zavala has been throwing with his receivers to prepare for the upcoming year, and his confidence going into this season has grown.

“I feel way more confident going into this year,” Zavala said. “My arm got stronger, and I’m learning how to prepare for defense better.”

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Jason Gallardo is the sports reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers high school sports for South Monterey County.


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