March 5, 2013

From New Positions to New Seasons: Looney Starts for the Broncos

By Sara Vierra 2015

SANTA CLARA, Calif.Zach Looney, who was once a full time shortstop, is looking forward to theupcoming season with the Santa Clara Bronco baseball team as the starting catcher. Starting at the position of catcher on a whim in high school, Looney (ZL) tells SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCU) how excited he is to work with the pitchers, coaches and entire team to bring the Broncos a successful season. 

Looney told us more about his experience at SCU, his baseball career and his feelings and thoughts about the current baseball season. 

SCU: At what age did you begin to play baseball and how did you get into the sport?
ZL:  I have been playing some form of baseball since I was about five years old. It has always been my favorite sport. Both my dad and uncle were big time baseball players so I grew up watching the game and learning about it. I fell in love with it and have enjoyed every minute of my time playing it.

SCU: When did you discover that you wanted to be a catcher? Did you start in any other positions?
ZL:  I actually grew up playing shortstop and would only catch every now and then. When I got into high school, my freshmen team didn't have a catcher, so I volunteered. That summer I caught every game and really fell in love with the position. Ever since then I have not played anything else. I would love to say that I was a really good shortstop but that would not at all be accurate.

SCU: How did you decide to play baseball at Santa Clara University?
ZL:  I wanted to play at Santa Clara because of the rich history the program had. I came to a camp my senior year in high school and could tell that there was strong tradition in the program and wanted to be a part of the team that brought the school back onto the map. The facilities were unbelievable, too. I had never seen anything like it. I felt like it was the best place for me to be part of something very special.

SCU: How has your experience been at SCU considering that you are a student athlete?
ZL: I love it at Santa Clara. The community is fantastic and the school is top notch. It is very clear that the school wants to help students be the best that they can. I love the support athletes get from the faculty; I am constantly asked how the season is going by all of my professors and they are extremely helpful in making sure I do not fall behind when we go on the road. The student body is full of amazing and friendly people that makes it really easy to meet new people and build friendships.

SCU: Are you excited to be the starting catcher for the Broncos this season?
ZL: I am really excited for this season. I think the program is going to do special things because of the culture our coaches have worked to create. We want to play the game the right way and do something special. We have some veteran guys on the pitching staff which is always exciting for a catcher. Coach Ribas and the staff have worked really hard in the preseason and I can't wait to work with them.

SCU: What is the chemistry like on the Bronco's baseball team?
ZL: This year's team is a very special group of guys. We came to school early in order to get acquainted with the new faces and now we are closer than any team I have been a part of. We always talk about the team being a brotherhood and I really think we are at that point. I trust every single one of the guys with anything and would do anything for them. Again, we have created a culture where the team is our second family and it is really cool to be a part of. It is amazing to be part of such an awesome group.

SCU: What do you enjoy doing most during your time off?
ZL: In my free time I enjoy watching movies or TV series. I like any type of movie except for horror stories. Whenever I get the chance, I like to read as well because it helps me relax.