Meet the Athlete: Zach Johnson


Lilly Fandel Thompson

Zach Johnson prepares for a big game. Park took on Benilde St.-Margaret’s Sept. 24 in a rivalry game.

Lilly Fandel-Thompson

When did you start playing football?

I started in second grade, but back then it was flag football. I switched to tackle football in third grade. I saw other kids playing and it looked like a lot of fun. 

What motivates you when things get hard on the field? 

I just keep trying to have fun and that is what motivates me.

What inspired you to commit to the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD)

I have been going to Duluth my whole life. Both of my parents went there, so it is like home away from home for me. I really loved the coaches there, as well as them being ranked 12th in the nation for the school, and first for O-Line, which is a pro for me. 

What are you most looking forward to while playing at UMD?

I am looking forward to being a part of their community and having fun. I am also looking forward to the opportunity to play football past high school. I want to continue balling out and having fun. 

How is playing for UMD going to push you to be a better athlete? 

UMD is a very good school for athletics at the D2 and D1 levels, so the athletic community will always push me to be better and get better. 

What have you done within your training routine to get you to this point

Getting in the weight room everyday and just getting in a good workout has helped me to get bigger, faster and stronger. 

What is your favorite part of playing your position?

I can smack someone in the mouth every play, so that’s a lot of fun. 

What is one piece of advice you have received to help you succeed? 

Just keep pushing through adversity even though you might want to quit sometimes. Just keep going and things will happen.

What is one piece of advice you would give to an upcoming player?

Just keep grinding. 

What is your favorite football memory?

Playing Waconia last year and beating (them) because we came back in the fourth quarter. We scored four touchdowns to win the game.