By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It’s been a nice little run this Summer for Zach Wusstig. Attending camps in Idaho, went to Las Vegas a few times, a lot of getting out, getting his name out there and what he could on the football field. It was part of taking that next step following his incredible junior season.
Prior to coming to South Salem this season, Wusstig was at 2A Jefferson. Where he had a breakout season this past Fall as a junior where he received first-team honors as Running Back and Defensive Back. All while helping aid the Lions to their first playoff win since 1965.
“Last year I really felt like I could show what I could do at running back and this summer I’ve really worked on transitioning to defensive back. That’s what I’ve been recruited at. The coaches at Jefferson helped me a lot and it meant a lot for them to put a lot of faith into me and help me build a lot last year. Now I’m really excited to work with this South Salem staff this year and I can’t wait for my senior season, I think we have a great shot at going pretty far in the playoffs,” Wusstig said.
247Sports ranked Wusstig as a 3-star safety following all of his hard work and dedication on the field this Summer going through the Vandals Prospects Camp in Idaho, the Northwest Showcase and the NW Best Showcase were a few things that Wusstig has done, going up against some high-caliber talent while lining up on the defensive side of the ball. Knowing that the job isn’t done yet, he’s still striving for more. Taking it one-step at a time.
The incoming senior will still play both sides of the ball, spending time at defensive back and safety while getting some work in at wide receiver as he turns his focus to this new challenge of competing at a 6A level.
“I’ll definitely play two-way this year and show what I can do with the ball,” Wusstig starts. “(6A) is definitely a big jump, but it’s not something I’m not used to. This offseason, this camp circuit, 7-on-7, I’ve been able to see national talent from across the country and I’ve been able to stack up pretty well against National talent from across the country. I’m excited for the competition, that’s for sure. It’s something that I don’t shy away from. I’m excited to show what I can do and that I can play ball at all levels and I”m really excited.”
Wusstig has always been known for his hard-work and grit. In football or basketball through the years he’s always setting a high-standard for those to emulate through his effort while playing. And Wusstig hopes to do it again this school year before graduating.
“I like to set a good example for the underclassmen and show kids that no matter where, what school you go to. As long as you can work your butt off and get out there…it’s all about hard work.” he said. “It’s something that I focus on and I really try to focus on setting a good example for these kids out here and that hard work really does pay off in the long run.”
With the first day of practice and South Salem’s first game of the year right around the corner, Wusstig was a coach in the Saxon Youth Camp finale Thursday evening. Helping out and having fun with the future athletes of the game.
“It’s awesome being around these little kids. They all have fun out here and they all have passion for the game, so it’s good to share the passion for the game with these kids out here and pass our knowledge onto these kids and just have fun out here,” Wusstig said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald