Merriam-Webster defines family as a “group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation.”
Family is a term that is used to describe a deep connection with those that surround you, whether that is a fraternity, sorority or a sports team.
Shippensburg University football team quarterback Zach Zulli uses the term family, not to describe his relationship with his siblings, but the one that encompasses him everyday — the team.
In fact, Zulli mentioned that term “family” many times during a sit-down with him following the last spring practice of this semester.
Parented by Paul and Chelsea Zulli, Zach grew up in the small town of Schwenksville located about 20 minutes east of King of Prussia.
As a kid, Zach had developed a winner’s mentality. Pitching for his little league teams in Central Perk, Zach had showcased raw talent and a distaste for losing. His prowess on the mound garnered him some All-Star team tryouts and eventually some all-star innings.
Zach’s focus started to shift in his early high school days from the pitcher’s mound to the gridiron. As a freshman at Perkiomen Valley High School, Zach showed immense promise behind center and got the chance to start his sophomore season.
It was a chance of which he would take full advantage.
After an up and down sophomore year, the developing Zach emerged in his junior year at Perk Valley; shattering passing records and commanding his team to their first Pioneer Athletic Commission’s title in more than ten years. Although they were ousted in the first round of Quad A playoffs, Zach had gotten some interest from universities.
After his senior year, Zach would sign his letter of intent to play at SU and was then redshirted for his freshman year. It was an experience that helped him grow as a player.
“Being redshirted was a way for me to learn the offenses and the speed of the game,” he said. “I also learned how to become part of a family.”
The family atmosphere has helped transition Zach from being a redshirt freshman to a backup and then to a starter.
As a first-year starter, Zach set SU passing records and led a strong offensive attack.
However, records mean nothing to him. The things that matter are wins and developing a unity with his team.
“I am looking forward to winning the PSAC and becoming a real family. We need to do things right for Coach Mac, win 11 games and try to make it to Alabama,” Zach said.
Zach will look to improve on all facets of his game, and with an offensive line and stellar receivers that showed tremendous promise, it will be a time for him and SU to make an impact in the PSAC.