My Story: Southern Utah Signee Zack Shepherd

Arizona Sports News online

Note from Sports360AZ CEO Brad Cesmat:Wednesday is College Football National Letter of Intent Day. We asked Williams Field quarterback  Zack Shepherd, who’s signed with Southern Utah University, to share his high school experiences on and off the field, as well as why SUU was the best fit for him to continue his academic and athletic career after serving his Mormon Mission.

Now that I have graduated and no longer go to school everyday, it makes it much
easier to look back at my years at Williams Field High School and reminisce about the
things that made it great. There is no place I would have rather gone to play high school
football, because it always felt like home and I was able to win lots of games. I am very
thankful to all of my teammates, coaches, friends, and family for making my high school
experience amazing, both on and off the field.

Without the love and support of everyone in my life, I would never be where I am at today. Football has taught me many great life lessons along with preparing me for adulthood, and for that I am most grateful.

My story begins with the love and support of my parents, without them I
definitely wouldn’t be where I am. They were at every one of my games growing up, they
paid for camps and private training and they always supported me, no matter how good
or bad I played in a given game. Shout out to my parents, I love you guys. Choosing to
enroll at Williams Field was actually a pretty easy decision because I’d be with my youth
teammates and be coached by Steve Campbell. With those two things alone, I knew it’d
be a great fit. As a freshman I split time between freshmen, JV, and varsity in order to
keep chemistry with my graduating class and learn from the older guys on JV and varsity. One of the greatest things about my first year was that I was able to learn the offense in every way, which ultimately paid off the next three years of high school.

Before I talk about what really matters to me now, I’ll talk about a few highlights
from on-field success. Throughout the three seasons on varsity I was fortunate to win three region championships, going undefeated in region play, scored 60 total touchdowns, broke all passing records at Williams Field and went 33-5 as a starter. I mention all that because what I love most about football is that it’s never one guy though. It’s always the team.

My success only came through my teammates doing their jobs, my coaches calling the
right plays, the defense creating stops and many other factors. That’s why I hate stats on
MaxPreps, because stats don’t show the whole picture, stats are individually based. My
stats come from my offensive line blocking, my receivers catching and getting yards after
the catch. It’s never just me. I love to relate this concept to life because it’s very
important to help others, allow yourself to be taught by others, and learn how to be a
team or family with others. This life isn’t about yourself or your personal “stats” it’s
about the people around you that you love. And football is a huge reason why I know that today and choose to live by that.

Our family of football players at Williams Field is like nothing I’ve ever seen
before. This past year at camp we had to look up guys from the past that wore our jersey
number and learn about them through our coaches, because like I said before, it’s not
about any one individual at Williams Field. Coach Campbell is one of the best coaches in
the state because he gets 14-18 year-olds to completely buy into this philosophy of
“football is bigger than yourself,” and that’s how Williams Field continues to be
successful. Williams Field never has a ton of D-1 players like other teams, but we always
find a way to come together as a team for one common goal, winning.

I am personally so grateful for my few years at Williams Field, and the many
relationships I gained and life lessons I learned. The people around me were the ones who made it the greatest years of my life. I was told to write a personal story but it’s hard to do when the people you love are the ones who got you your success as a football player
and person.

As for my future, I couldn’t be more excited. I will be serving a two-year
church mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Milan, Italy and I can’t wait to leave so I can serve others and teach them about what makes me happiest.

After I return home I will be attending Southern Utah University to play football there.
My future is planned out (for now) and I am excited to see where this all takes me. I
know that God has a plan for me. Football has been a huge part of my plan and I can’t
wait for it to be apart of it when I get back from my mission.

High School football wasessential in creating the man I am today and I will always see its lasting effects in my life. I will forever cherish the memories it created.