DeRoeck Looks to Excel as a Dual Sport Athlete
For Zack DeRoeck, playing football as the kicker and being the goalie for the Pinckney Soccer Team has always been a part of his life. Since third grade, he has been playing both sports and knew he wanted to continue in high school. “I guess I was just kind of wired to be a dual sport athlete entering high school,” DeRoeck said.
Being a dual sport athlete has its challenges. On top of practice and games for both he also has his schoolwork to deal with as well. Even though it might be tiring at times, he still manages to stay on top of his game both on the field and in the classroom. “Since both football and soccer are in the same season, it’s kind of difficult to get my homework done considering that I have 3 games a week as well as going to one practice and a game on the same day. I love it though and I would not change anything for the world,” DeRoeck remarked.
Pinckney Soccer is led by second year coach Sean Grace and DeRoeck credits his head coach for making him a better soccer player on the field and a better person off the field. “He’s always pushing us to be better at every practice even when it’s conditioning in the morning where we run through Pinckney and back to the school,” DeRoeck stated. “Another thing is he’s just a chill guy overall and likes to joke around with us and talk with us. He also knows when to be strict and gets the best out of all of us,” DeRoeck continued.
The Pinckney Soccer Team has made some great improvements the last few years and 2018 could be a big year for the team this season. “We have improved greatly since last season. We had three freshman starting and only had three seniors so we were a pretty young team. This year we have 10+ seniors. Now, the age is there and the talent is there. We just have to come together and play to the best of our abilities,” DeRoeck said.
For DeRoeck, soccer has been a part of his life since he was just two years old. Even though most kids play soccer when they are young, DeRoeck loved it and has played ever since. “When I was seven years old, my older brother tried out for a club named Waza and I really wanted to be like him when I was younger so I tried out as well,” DeRoeck remarked. “Ever since then, I knew soccer was for me. I eventually transitioned to goalie and just continued to get better and become the player I am today,” DeRoeck stated.
DeRoeck also found a passion for football when he was young. His dad played soccer and football when he was in high school and thought he would want to do it too. “I was in the third grade and he asked me “Do you want me to sign you up for football?” I was a bit hesitant when he asked, but I’m glad I said yes,” DeRoeck said.
It will be a little bit different for DeRoeck this season on the football field as he will not be playing linebacker for the first time since third grade and admits he misses being out there with his fellow linebackers. He will only be handing the kicking duties for the football team this year . “It has been kind of rough watching my boys do all of the linebacker drills because it really makes me miss it,” DeRoeck said. “Overall, it’s best for me to just kick and play goalie. I’m sure it will all pay off in the end,” he added.
Last year, The Pinckney Football team had one of its best seasons in school history by going 8-1 last season and winning the SEC White for the first time since 1995. It was their first year back in the SEC last season. This year, the team doesn’t have a lot of returning players but DeRoeck says this could be another big year for the Pirates this season. “We are connecting very well as a team and have been working hard since the end of last season in the weight room. I believe if we continue in the path we are going, we will do extremely well and reach all of our team goals for the upcoming season,” DeRoeck remarked.
DeRoeck is a senior this year and like everyone in high school, DeRoeck is already surprised that his four years of high school are coming to an end this year. “I never really believed the seniors when they said time flies, but it truly does,” DeRoeck said. I can remember the first day of June Camp as a freshman on the grass field, and I was scared out of my mind like it was yesterday. My biggest goal this year is just going out with no regrets by the end of the season for both sports,” DeRoeck continued.