Bishop Amat’s Zach Shay back after the sprained ankle that wouldn’t go away

By Fred J. Robledo
Injured combo back Zach Shay dressed for Bishop Amat’s CIF-Southern Section Pac-5 Division first-round playoff game against Tesoro last November, but it was more disguise than a real shot at playing time. After injuring his right ankle more than a month earlier, he still couldn’t plant and cut on it.
“I asked coach to put me in, but I knew it wasn’t happening,” Shay said. “It wasn’t easy standing there knowing you can’t help.”

Tesoro ended Bishop Amat’s season with a 31-21 win, a bitter ending considering the Lancers started 9-0 before losing the Serra League title game to Alemany, 38-30, and its playoff opener a week later.

“You always wonder what would have happened if I didn’t get hurt,” Shay said. “But you can’t dwell on it. We’ve got a new season and an opportunity to make it right.”


Amat coach Steve Hagerty has plenty of weapons at his disposal with senior running back Jalen Moore and quarterback Rio Ruiz, but he says night in and night out Shay is the most important piece.

“The outside world only looks at the numbers, it looks at the stats and (Shay) doesn’t have the type of stats that light up a sheet,” Hagerty said. “But our coaches know better. There are a lot of things that go on in a football game that help your team win – things stats don’t measure. But we know. We know what he means to this football team.”

How about the most important stat of all.

Amat was 6-0 and on its way to a Serra League-opening, 31-28 win over Crespi when Shay caught a pass out of the backfield, turned and went sprawling to the turf clutching his ankle.

Initially, Amat’s training staff ruled it a sprain and targeted Shay’s return toward the end of the season, possibly against Alemany in the league finale.

But his ankle was much worse than anyone thought.

“I tore three ligaments and strained everything in there,” Shay said. “No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it better. Even today there’s some scar tissue, but I’m all right.”

With Shay out, Amat’s offense became predictable.

Shay was a double threat in the backfield. He rushed 39 times for 280 yards and four touchdowns, and also had 27 receptions for 330 yards and three touchdowns, plus he returned punts and kickoffs.

He was the perfect complement to the hard-running Moore and was an outlet for Ruiz, who watched Shay take a routine pass and turn it into something big.

“Some of the structure of what we do is having inside and outside things,” Hagerty said. “We ask our quarterback to make choices. When you have Jalen responsible for running and Shay on the perimeter catching the ball, it’s almost a pick your poison kind of thing. When we lost that piece of the puzzle, it made us more one-dimensional than we wanted.”

While Moore is the primary back, Shay is no slouch and their contrasting styles is what made Amat’s offense click.

“Shay can carry the ball in the backfield as good as anybody on our team,” Hagerty said. “Jalen’s our main guy, but he’s more power, more downhill-type stuff.

“Shay is more a plant, cut, and dart kind of runner, and it causes major problems for opponents trying to figure out what we’re going to do.”

With Shay back along with a senior-dominated offense, Hagerty is hoping the Lancers offense picks up where it left off before his injury.

“We basically didn’t have Shay for all of league and the playoffs,” Hagerty said. “We saw more people around the ball where we were trying to run, which tells you how good Jalen is, because he made it work even with everyone knowing who was getting the ball.

“But you can’t win being one-dimensional, and with Shay, we have our options back. If you look at his yards after he catches the ball, you would be impressed. Catching the ball is all good, but what separates him from other kids is his ability to wiggle up the field and gain yards he has no business gaining.

“Like I said, that’s hard for the (novice) fan to understand, but we all understand Zach Shay’s importance to this football team.”

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  • 12th man

    Dont know if Shay playing last year against Tesoro would have changed the outcome..but it definately would of made things more intresting~

  • smallcitymc

    I don’t think most folks take a “sprain” to seriously. I had a similar injury some years ago. I actually heard a “pop” when it happened and I went down like a rock. The pain was so great that I passed out. I thought for sure that my ankle was broken when I came to, but it wasn’t. Interesting thing though, the doctor said I probably would have been better off with a fracture since serious sprains take so long to heal. I don’t recall what category my sprain was, but it took 2 years to heal completely.

    Believe me, just on what I’ve read, Shay’s sprain was serious. So he may not be 100%, but I’m glad to see he’s on his way back. As contrary as it sounds, there is no advantage in taking it easy at this point since full motion/use is most likely the best thing that one can do.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/tribpreps/2011/08/bishop-amats-za.html Realllly???

    Passed out from a sprained ankle…lol

  • he will be ready

    A ankle sprain is a nagging injury, but many people play on them. it’s his senior year at bishop . He will be ready to play %100 or not. I know they want to line Moore up as a WR sometimes, and vice vesa. They are going to need this kid in order to do that.

  • Zach Shay Highlights

    This guy is wicked fast, slick, and can catch the ball!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovm1zVRnfVA

    GO LANCERS!!!

  • jcaz

    The injury to shay was certainly a tough blow to take, but in both of Amats losses last year, it was an offensive miscue and a couple of defensive blunders that ultimately kept Amat from going any further.

    Not to take anything away from the phenomenal athlete that Alemany had at quarterback last year, but that defensive breakdown at the end of the second half really did Amat in. Two touch downs in less that two minutes was inexcusable.

    Maybe its a good thing that Hags is looking at focusing on the defense this year ?

    As for that Tessoro game, well come on now, we had it won. That fumble on the one yard line and the subsequent Joe Montana-esk “drive” by Tessoro was a tough one thats for sure.

    But thats the way the ball bounces some times, but I cant help to think what might have been, if only…

    Ya, it’s funny because, there have been so many close endings to Amats losses over the last couple of years, and honestly, a tweak here and there could have resulted in a far different outcome.

    No different than UCLA’s championship run when if you recall, Ty Edney made that remarkable run to seal the deal for my Bruins in 1995. Without that miracle finish, no 11th championship

  • jcaz

    The injury to shay was certainly a tough blow to take, but in both of Amats losses last year, it was an offensive miscue and a couple of defensive blunders that ultimately kept Amat from going any further.

    Not to take anything away from the phenomenal athlete that Alemany had at quarterback last year, but that defensive breakdown at the end of the second half really did Amat in. Two touch downs in less that two minutes was inexcusable.

    Maybe its a good thing that Hags is looking at focusing on the defense this year ?

    As for that Tessoro game, well come on now, we had it won. That fumble on the one yard line and the subsequent Joe Montana-esk “drive” by Tessoro was a tough one thats for sure.

    But thats the way the ball bounces some times, but I cant help to think what might have been, if only…

    Ya, it’s funny because, there have been so many close endings to Amats losses over the last couple of years, and honestly, a tweak here and there could have resulted in a far different outcome.

    No different than UCLA’s championship run when if you recall, Ty Edney made that remarkable run to seal the deal for my Bruins in 1995. Without that miracle finish, no 11th championship

  • Colt74

    jcaz,
    Please forgive me. I just can’t help it. I saw you mention UCLA and something snapped….lol

    NotSince1995 !!!!

    UCLA Basketball

    Not in 2011 either!

    USC-USC-USC-USC-USC-USC-USC-USC-USC-USC

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    :)

  • http://signedfogol Aaron

    You guys must have missed adam sanchez #1 amazing offense last year. Over 800 yards thats pretty impressive to me.

  • White Fang

    In regards to the Alemany Game. We know what truly happened. This year will be different though. They will not be able to bring their Ref’s with them to Kiefer stadium. Shay will make them pay… You will see!

  • Adam Sanchez Highlights

    Did someone say Adam Sanchez? BA’s leading WR returns!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pdHB_DTmtg

    GO LANCERS!

  • jcaz

    Colt 45, may I remind you that UCLA has more NCAA championships than any other division one program out there.

    Yes, even more than USC…Got it ???

    Sure, you might be able to make a case that a champioship banner in tiddley winks might not be on the same level as one in football (to some persons anyway) however, it nevertheless is still a championship banner.

    Oh, and did I also mention that UCLA is’nt on probation in BOTH basketball and Football ?

    Hum….

  • Colt74

    jcaz,
    Before I saw the light and became hooked on football I was a Wooden and a Lakers fan.
    Then I discovered USC and the skies looked bluer, my coffee seemed to taste better, and although I can’t PROVE it…I had over 80% fewer cavities!
    It’s not to late to come into the light! And there ARE other colors in the world besides blue!

    USC

    U.niversity Of S.ports C.riminals
    “Where if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’!”

  • Colt74

    OK…serious side now. It’s been over 16 hours since the scrimmage against Upland.
    Someone post something! How did it go?

  • Trojan Fan

    jspaz;

    OK dumb*ss, UCLA has 107 NCAA championships and USC has 93, but the NCAA does not give Football championships and we are talking football. USC has 17 National Championships to UCLA’s 1. We whoop you *ss 17:1. Let’s not forget that your NCAA championships are mostly in women’s sports. USC has the most men’s NCAA championships. So put on you powder blue dress Mimi and leave the sports talk to us men. Even with reduced scholarships, not being bowl eligible and less than half the enrollment we still whoop your *ss. “And that’s all I have to say about that”.

  • AMAT 73

    Colt74,
    The scrimmage is today at 5:00 . There will be a mixer after the scrimmage put on by the AMAT TD Club with input by Hags.

  • Colt74

    Amat73,
    TY! My bad. I read in the other blog yesterday a post from Bully that it was last night.

    Trojan,
    Actually me and my friend jcaz were talking about basketball. I was just razzing him about 1995. Even though I am a HUGE USC NUT I learned the hard way to respect all teams and their fans until given a reason to stop. I’ve eaten too much crow by not. And besides, even though he’s a UCLA fan…jcaz is one of the good guys.

  • The truth shall set you free

    @ Trojan fan
    The USC propaganda ministers actually only claim 11 National Championships in football, not 17. However, per the NCAA – http://www.ncaa.com/history/football/fbs
    USC only has 9 National Championships: 1931,1932,1962,1967,1972,1974,1978,2003,2004. I believe that number will soon be reduced to 8, with 2004 being wiped from the record books. None the less, 8 National Championships is still very impressive.

  • jcaz

    Colt 45, no worries, I like you enjoy a little bit of fun every now and then (take note of the tiddley wink reference), however, when Trojan fan says that USC has more football championships than UCLA, and that USC is behind UCLA sports (yes even in woman’s athletics), then he’s is not only stating a fact, he’s also making my point.

    Look Trojan guy, I like most other folks enjoy the fine products that many of your grads produce. Heck, if it weren’t for Trojans, then where would the porn industry be these days anyway ? World population would be at an all time high, and yes, this earth of ours is a far better place these days simply because the men of Troy have said so have won more football “championships” than have the boys in powder blue.

    Ha ha ha, take it easy there big guy

    Wink Wink….

  • Trojan Fan

    The truth will set you free. The NCAA link doesn’t tell the whole story dumb#ss. USC has won 17 National Championships in 11 different years. There have been over the years a number of organizations which issue National Championhips (i.e. AP, UPI, Coaches Poll, USA Today etc.). In 2006 their awards were vacated as was their win in 2004, The AP continues to support their National Championship award in 2004 and has not rescinded it, so that’s included in the 17. The number would go up from 17 if I included 2006, but in recent years there is the BCS and only one National Championship award is given so when the win by USC was vacated so was the award, in 2004 the win was vacated, but AP did not rescind their award. Your link takes who recieved the most awards that year and lists them as the National Champion, not taking in to consideration that the AP or Coaches Poll named someone else. That’s why they created the BCS to try to finally develop a system that names one National Champion. So my statement stands USC has been awarded 17 National Campionships over 11 different years as compared to UCLA’s one. “And that’s all I have to say about that”

  • The truth will set you free

    @ Trojan ding dong
    The USC Athletic Dept. itself only claims 11 National Titles – here is the link dumba**http://www.usctrojans.com/trads/usc-nattitles.html – Nobody with half a brain at USC claims 17 titles – if your so sure of yourself, then please post all of the years. And you must be the only dumba** in america that would claim a National Title in 2006. The rest of America saw USC loose to Texas in the final seconds of the NC Game at the Rosebowl. So please next time think before your dumba** posts something stupid.

  • Aaron

    How in the world do you claim 17 national titles in football in eleven different years? Just because more groups gave you one doesn’t mean you have 17…it just means more groups recognized you as the champion for that year…next thing you’re telling me is 1+1=5.5.

  • Trojan Fan

    Wow, really. OK idiots here we go. USC as a school claims 11 National Championships (1928,1931,1932,1939,1962,1967,1972,1974,1978,2003,2004). These were years that they were concensus National Champions. They recieved 17 National Championships (1928,1929,1931,1932,1933,1939,1962,1967,1972,1974,1976,1978,1979,2002,2003,2004,2007). You can refer to the Official NCAA Division 1 Records Book, i suggest you order a copy dumbsh*t, you can also try the College Football Data Warehouse (CFDW), both agree with these numbers. Some schools claim non-consnesus national championships but most major universities only claim consensus National Championships.

    And yes “Truth” i did make a mistake and list 2006 when I meant 2007 when USC and Missouri were both non-consensus national champions and LSU was the consensus national champions. But whose the dumb*ss you refer to a NCAA site that leaves out 1928 and 1939, these were years that there was no such thing as consensus everybody picked who they wanted USC went undefeated in those years in 1928 their were 6 colleges who recieved National Championships and in 1939 there were 3, but back then there was no consensus so USC claims those years and it’s anybodies guess how the NCAA decided to select someone for their unoffical title.

    My point is still the same USC whoops *ss on UCLA when it comes to football and if you want to challenge me on my info, get your sh*t together.