Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
alert urgent
PREP FOOTBALL

Valparaiso senior Zach Barrasas has some moves on dance floor, football field

  • Updated
  • 0
Zach Barrasas

Valparaiso center Zach Barrasas will continue his football career at Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

VALPARAISO — Two years ago during a rain delay in a scrimmage against Hobart, a dance-off broke out inside the Valparaiso football locker room that 6-foot, 340-pound center Zach Barrasas put an end to by falling down into the splits.

Viking coach Bill Marshall just caught it in time.

“The place went nuts,” Marshall said.

Barrasas caught plenty of teammates by surprise that day. Now they know the senior as a two-year starter at center and one of the reasons the Vikings average more than 280 yards rushing per game.

That's helped Valpo to a 9-1 record and a berth in next weekend's Class 5A Sectional 9 final at Munster (3-7).

“It all starts with Zach up front being able to identify the defense we’re facing and then being able to relay that message to everybody else on the line,” Marshall said. “The idea of blocking guys is no longer about blocking guys. It’s about blocking where guys are going to be and if he is in fact going to be your guy. He’s very astute at that.”

Coaches at the next level have taken notice. Barrasas will continue his playing career for Division III Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a combined athletic program for three colleges in southern California.

Barrasas plans to study finance, economics and potentially computer science at Claremont McKenna while playing either center or guard on the combined football team. He said he fell in love with the school after attending a camp last season and that it promises to be a rigorous academic test.

U.S. News & World Report classifies Claremont McKenna as “most selective.” It enrolled 1,262 undergraduate students in the fall of 2020.

“It’s a tough school,” Barrasas said. “I know it’s going to be a lot of work but will make me way more successful in the future.”

In the present, Barrasas sets the tone for a Valparaiso team looking to win a fourth consecutive sectional championship. He weighed abound 350 pounds last season but plays at 320 now and hopes to be under 300 pounds by the time he gets to college by continuing a strict workout plan and tuning his diet.

Barrasas said his biggest gains have come with game reps.

“It’s been about knowing football better,” he said. “Keeping your eyes up and not just thinking about this guy or that guy in front of you because he’s going to move. It’s about knowing when they switch that you’ve got to switch and where you need to be because you never know who’s going to be coming. It makes a difference between winning and losing as a lineman.”

Barrasas is 17-2 as a starter over the past two seasons with lone losses coming to Zionsville in last year's semistate and Merrillville on Oct. 1. Having football ahead of him in college gives him something to look forward to beyond high school. But he said he’s not ready to let go of his prep career yet.

The key to continuing, he said, lies in his fellow linemen believing in one another.

“It really comes down to being friends on the line,” he said. “It sounds really corny, but being able to trust the person next to you blocking makes a huge difference because it makes you way more confident getting off a block. When you know a guy is blitzing you have to know the guy next to you will pick him up and have your back. It the line isn’t talking and they’re not friends it’ll be hard to keep winning games.”

Football recap: Rain can't slow down Region in sectional semifinals

Miss any of Friday night's action? Catch up on what happened from Merrillville's new challenge, a streak-snapping Munster win, Lowell finding a key adjustment, highlights and photo galleries.

urgent web only
  • Updated
  • 0
alert top story urgent
  • Updated
  • 0

The Bulldogs had the momentum late, though, getting a goal-line stop and then scoring with less than 10 minutes left to cut the Merrillville lead to only 10.

urgent web only
  • Updated
  • 0

The Bulldogs look to give the Pirates their first loss.

web only alert urgent
  • Updated
  • 0

Check back for up-to-the-minute scores from games involving Northwest Indiana teams as the IHSAA playoffs continue.

alert urgent
  • Updated
  • 0

“It's my last ride, could be my last game. I’m hoping it's not. I think our team has done a lot in the offseason. I think we deserve it. We’ve worked harder, and we're rolling right now.”

urgent web only
  • Updated
  • 0

The Cougars look to knock off Lowell.

alert urgent
  • Updated
  • 0

Friday night highlights take a look at wins by Munster, Valparaiso, Chesterton, Michigan City and Andrean.

urgent web only
  • Updated
  • 0

Hammond Central seeks its first playoff win as it visits Munster.

alert urgent
  • Updated
  • 0

"I feel like we played to the last second on the clock and this was probably our best game yet."

urgent web only
  • Updated
  • 0

TF South looks to win in the first round of the IHSA football playoffs at Hoffman Estates.

0 Comments
1
0
0
0
0

Get in the game with our Prep Sports Newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Crime

Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts