Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Player profile, Zach Challingsworth
Name: Zach Challingsworth
School: South Fayette
Measurables: Challingsworth is listed at 6-2, 170, and he's playing multiple positions on offense in addition to defensive back.
As a sophomore, Challingsworth was one a favorite target of quarterback Christian Brumbaugh.
"Zach's so talented. We just couldn't get him five, six touches a game," South Fayette coach Joe Rossi said. "We need to get him at least 10-15 touches."
This year: Challingsworth enters the Lions' key home game Friday night against unbeaten Steel Valley as the team's leading rusher and receiver.
He's had only nine carries, but posted 100 yards. Challingsworth also has five catches for 135 yards and one touchdown. The majority of his rushed come out of the wildcat formation, which South Fayette installed during the offseason.
"I can play quarterback and just be an athlete instead of running routes the entire game. I can go out there be a competitor and give it my all," Challingsworth said. "It’s tough. Coming out to practice, you have to be ready to learn every day. I’m learning the quarterback position. It’s tough every day but it’s getting better."
Rave reviews: Opposing coaches, even ones in different classifications, praised Challingsworth play during summer 7-on-7 camps. He also earned high marks for his play in summer basketball leagues.
Challingsworth isn't afraid to do the little things, like offer advice to underclassmen during football practice or rough it up inside during basketball season.
He's also an explosive athlete, as his two touchdown receptions against West Philadelphia Catholic in last year's PIAA Class AA title game or a come-from-behind block of a 6-6 Division I recruit in the PIAA Class AAA quarterfinals against Eastern York suggest.
"It was a good summer coming back from losing 19 seniors but things are coming together well," Challingsworth said. "We still have targets on our backs and if my name is going around then I individually have a target on my back. We’re all in this together."
College material: Toledo has expressed major interest in Challingsworth and is expected to offer soon. Pitt, West Virginia, Duquesne and Villanova are also among Challingsworth's early suitors.
"He just works hard," Rossi said. "When you have a kid with talent that comes ready to work every day, it just adds to the total package. The other kids knew right away that watching how Zach works would be a positive for them."