By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Bishop Amat High School football coach Steve Hagerty isn’t sure if or when all-purpose standout Zach Shay will return. Shay, a running back/defensive back who Hagerty described as the Lancers’ best all-around player before the season, suffered a concussion in the first quarter of their Sept. 9 loss to Servite and hasn’t returned. It was Shay’s second concussion since summer practice started. Last year, Amat was 6-0 when Shay suffered a season-ending ankle sprain. “As of now he’s out indefinitely,” Hagerty said. “It’s a decision that’s between his doctors and his family. They will let us know if Zach will play again. I don’t want to speculate and say he’ll give it a shot here or there.”
Amat safety Adam Alcantara injured his knee against Servite and hasn’t played since. Alcantara will miss Bishop Amat’s final nonleague game at Venice (1-3) on Thursday, but will likely be back the following week when the Lancers (4-1) open the Serra League season at home against Alemany.
Even with the injuries, Amat has played well since losing to Servite, beating Damien 28-7 and routing Cathedral 56-7.
“We’re playing better,” Hagerty said. “All I can go by is what we see and what we’re doing. We’re playing better defensively and overall.”
Defensive backs Dionza Blue, Nathan Lozano and Ajee Montes have played well. But the next month will be telling.
“Although we haven’t seen a lot of the spread, our defense is geared toward that,” Hagerty said. “We’ll see a lot of the spread in the Serra, those are the teams we have to beat.”
Hagerty said Venice is athletic and will be the best team the Lancers have faced since Servite.
“The games coming up are like Murderers’ Row,” Hagerty said. “But I think our best football is still ahead of us.”
The Serra League is an impressive 20-5 overall, and that’s with Loyola losing to Upland, Crespi losing to Vista Murrieta and Alemany losing to Dorsey on Friday.
Does that mean Amat’s back in the Serra League driver’s seat?
“No,” Hagerty said. “(With fans), it’s always an over-reaction, good or bad, week by week. It’s what people want to make of it. Once we start playing each other, anything can happen.”