Athlete of the Week: Payton Zdroik

Name: Payton Zdroik

School: Liberty High School

Year: Senior

Sport: Football

Coach: Ryan Partridge

About: Payton Zdroik is a focused football player who keeps pushing for the win.

His career thus far has earned him a spot on Liberty High School’s varsity football team since his sophomore year, as well as multiple college scholarship opportunities.

Zdroik began playing tackle football for the East County Lions in 7th grade and is still with some of the same teammates now. He said football has made him tougher and stronger, and he credits his success to the hard work and dedication he believes are necessary to become great at any sport.

“What pushed me to the next level was speed and agility work,” he said. “As a sophomore, I was more just the muscle-bound guy. I could move kids, but I couldn’t move myself ... I’ve been working on speed agility stuff, and that made a difference.”

Between classes, practice and weightlifting, Zdroik volunteers at Jeremy Newberry’s organization, Newberry’s Block, which raises money for underprivileged kids to play sports.

Future Plans: Zdroik intends to play football in college and currently has offers from five schools, including Harvard, Cal Poly and UC Davis. He plans to major in criminology or international relations and wants to work for the CIA.

Coach’s Quote: “Payton is a great student athlete for Liberty,” said Partridge. “He represents commitment to academics, his teammates, football and Liberty. He’s going to have a great college football career wherever he chooses to go.”