The position of fullback has been somewhat forgotten in today’s high school and college offenses. The spread offenses and many similar types of offenses do not have to rely on a fullback. Those teams either abandon the position or use a temporarily fullback who used for passing situations. As much as the spreads and wing offenses are used there still are either hybrid pro offenses, where the quarterback lines up under center and uses two or more running backs, one being a fullback. Zachary Bihary from De La Salle is a stand out fullback; the Pilots use a hybrid offense where the fullback is relied upon, especially in heavy set packages.
De La Salle's state title opportunity fell short when they lost 33-23 to Harrison in the third round of the playoffs. It was after that game what Bihary put his focus on the 2011 season. Bihary commented, "After losing to Harrison I really stepped up my training. I did wrestling during the winter which allowed to build more cardio endurance. I lift three times a week with our team and two or three more times on my own. I also attend speed training three times a week and position training twice a week. Basically trying to become all around better."
The fullback often times does not get on the highlights but it’s clear the fullback is crucial to a successful offense. Bihary discussed that he likes to open up the wholes for his teammate in the backfield, Damorria Lilly, "I feel like I have a part on most carries even if I don’t touch the ball. With Damorria running I know if I open the slightest hole he could bust off a long run. Blocking is my job first and that is what I like most about fullback." Bihary described what a successful game to him is, "As a fullback I really base my games on how the I effect the running game. If my block or lack thereof is the cause of a play then that determines how well I played. Maintaining blocks is what leads to a good game."
Since 2011 is Bihary's senior season, he will be looking to make the most out of it. Bihary mentioned one thing he has really been working on, which is his speed, "Speed is a big thing I am trying to improve. I brought my 40 time down to a 4.8, and I am still getting faster. I also want to get a lot stronger." Bihary easily summed up his overall goal for the season, "my goal for 2011 is to win a state championship. That’s all that matters this season."
The Pilots have three non conference teams to start the season before starting Catholic League divisional play in the fourth week against defending champion in the prep bowl, Brother Rice. Bihary thinks the biggest game for the Pilots is the following week, "I think catholic central is the one game we must win. If we can beat them I think we can take any team in the catholic league."
The expectations will be high at De La Salle as they have had five straight winning seasons. The Pilots return some great seniors and many soon to be juniors will continue to have huge roles for De La Salle. De La Salle was picked to be a top 25 team in the whole state of Michigan to start the 2011 season, Bihary talks about what it means to the team to have the early accolades, "It definitely makes us work a lot harder as a team. More kids are attending workouts and out of school training to prepare for this season. We want to contend for a state title and being ranked preseason just motivates us to work harder."
When Bihary leaves De La Salle at the end of the school year, it appears he will be able to take the next step in his football career, as several schools have shown interest in the fullback. Bihary talked about the schools that are showing him attention, “Right now I am being looked at by Hope, St. Olaf, Holy Cross, and a few other D3 schools. Also conversation with Harvard is really picking up along with some talks with Penn. I think I could be offered sometime in the near future if not in the summer after attending the schools camps. But if I had to say who would be first, id say St. Olaf."