Zach Myers got his feet wet as Juniata Valley's starting quarterback in last November's District 6 Class A playoffs.
This season, he'll be jumping into the position neck-deep as a senior.
And Valley coach Mike Smith feels very good about that.
"He came in halfway through the Penns Valley [playoff game] last year, and played the whole game the next week, against Bellwood-Antis,'' Smith said of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Myers, who also starts at free safety on defense for the Green Hornets. "He ran the offense well in both games, and threw a few nice passes. It gave him a lot of confidence going into this season.
"He's a good athlete and a pretty quick, physical kid who has a strong arm and is learning to make some reads,'' Smith added. "I think he's somebody we can build our team around, not only offensively, but defensively as well.''
Valley lost a good nucleus to graduation last spring, but with Myers and junior fullback Shawn McCrum, a 1,000-yard rusher last year who has been in the varsity lineup since his freshman season, both returning, the Green Hornets can rebuild quickly.
Myers felt the experience he gained last year at quarterback will prove valuable in his adjustment process this season.
"I had game experience [at quarterback], but it's a lot different starting a game there than it is coming in at the end of a game,'' Myers said. "It was a little nerve-racking at first, but having played there last year will help me this year. It's a bigger responsibility, but I'm looking forward to it, and I feel like I can handle it.''
Myers also plays on the Juniata Valley baseball team, and he was a member of the Altoona squad in the Central Pennsylvania Baseball Legion League this summer. He plans to play baseball in college at Susquehanna University next year, where he will be a history major and prepare for law school.
"He's a very smart kid,'' Smith said.
Myers is also cooperative and coachable as well as being gifted athletically. Smith hopes he can develop into more of a vocal leader during the summer practice drills that lead up to the start of this season.
"He's a very good kid who is enjoyable to work with,'' Smith said of Myers. "He hasn't been real vocal - he likes to lead by example. But he's becoming a little more vocal as far as leadership is concerned, and we're hoping he can step into that role a lot more as we get ready for this season.''