Zach Hirth Plays in Under Armour All-American Game

It’s not every day that a fellow student, teammate or friend is recognized as one of 93 of the best players in the nation. The Under Armour All-American game showcased players from all across the country and acknowledged one of Eureka’s very own, Zach Hirth.

Hirth was one of two long snappers selected to be featured in the game, validating his outstanding capabilities. While his talent was no secret, everyone was amazed to find out that he was chosen.

“I hadn’t expected to receive such recognition, but I was definitely excited,” Hirth said. “The honor of knowing you’re going to be playing with the top football players in nation is something I had never planned on getting to experience.”

The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented Hirth with not only a mixture of many emotions but also reason for him to practice like never before.

“I prepared by weightlifting regularly and attending practices several times a week,” Hirth said. “I was really excited to play but at the same time was very nervous knowing there would be over 25,000 people watching in the crowd plus everyone watching on TV.”

Among those 25,000 were countless friends and family that were supporting Hirth. Watching from over 1,000 miles away on TV were Hirth’s teammates Sam Taff (12), Kyle Ebert (12) and Connor Fairfax (12).

“It’s awesome that he was able to play at that caliber,” Ebert said. “It’s weird seeing one of your friends and teammates on ESPN.”

The teammates felt pride and joy for one of their friends who they played next to for seven years and had no doubt that his recognition was deserved.

“He works so hard and puts in plenty of time in our off-season,” Fairfax said. “He also deals with a lot of pressure and I think that’s why he deserved the award.”

Head coach Ferrell Shelton was one of the few who traveled to Florida and was able to participate in the celebration firsthand.

“The entire experience was first class,” Shelton said. “From staying on Disneyworld property to meeting pro athletes and NFL players, I was just in awe.”

Preparation for the game began months prior; however, the thrill of seeing Hirth set at such a high standard didn’t seem real until the game actually came around, Jan 6.

“It didn’t hit me until the jersey presentation and the introductions,” Shelton said. “When they’re announcing the names of the 93 best players in the nation I heard Zach Hirth and got chills. I was filled with so much emotion and pride for him, just honored for one of my kids to experience it.”

The players were divided into two teams: black and white. While Hirth’s black team ended up losing the game, it didn’t interrupt the thrill of the experience.

“I felt that I did well even though the black team got smashed,” Hirth said. “Honestly, the best part of the whole thing had to be everything that came with it. I probably ended up with over $1,000 in Under Armour gear which I’ll be able to keep to remember this opportunity.”

Hirth has yet to decide where he will attend school next year and is currently waiting to be offered. He is being looked at by Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas State and Michigan.

“Hopefully he gets a scholarship to a D1 school where I can continue to watch him on TV,” Taff said.

With pressure building up as choosing a college closes in, there is no doubt that Hirth’s future will be bright no matter where he ends up.