WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi senior Zach Sumerlin participated in a college football signing day at Wa-Hi on Tuesday, making a commitment to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"I’m very happy with this decision," he said.
And he’s looking forward to attending the Academy.
First, however, he will leave in late June for basic training in Texas.
"I’ll be there for six weeks," he said. "Then, right after that, I will begin two-a-day football practice."
As a member of the Wa-Hi basketball team, Sumerlin has dropped a few pounds from his weight on the football team this fall.
Sumerlin expects to be a trim 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds when practice begins. He was in the high 260s while playing offensive and defensize line on the Blue Devil football team, he said.
In addition to basketball, he now plans to run a mile every other day to prepare for his Air Force physical condition test.
"I will probably play on the offensive line as a pulling guard or tackle," he said.
But he may also see action on the Falcons’ defensive line, he added.
Sumerlin will not redshirt at the Academy, since all players spend just four years there.
Sumerlin plans to study Military Science as a major, and eventually become a military strategist. He plans to study languages as a minor, with an emphasis on Polish or Russian, and to work toward becoming a linguist.
"I wanted to thank my (football) coaches at Wa-Hi for helping me and keeping on track, coach (Marc) Yonts and coach (Mike) Gobel," Sumerlin said.
He also credited Wa-Hi athletic director Don Wilkins, principal Darcy Weisner and teacher Dennis DeBroeck for their extensive help and guidance.
The U.S. Air Force Academy Web site features the following comment by Air Force head football coach Troy Calhoun:
"Our recruiting process was very thorough and comprehensive. We were very selective and pinpointed some key individuals and spent a great deal of time with them. Leadership is the most vital thing we are looking for. We looked hard to find young people that we feel will become great leaders for our Air Force. We want to find guys that are going to fit in and excel here."
Sumerlin exceled with the Blue Devils, being selected as a two-time Big Nine Conference Cascade Division Offensive Lineman of the Year.