By: Michaela Thimot and Macy Dennon
People and News Editors
Even though some consider playing three sports in high school while balancing academics to be impossible, freshman Zach Otoupal works hard to prove those doubters wrong.
Growing up, Otoupal became accustomed to moving around. Originally born in Los Gatos, Otoupal found a home in Monterey when he was just three years old. Three years later he moved to Utah with his family. His dad’s job as an athletic director prompted that move, which is one of the many reasons Otoupal has such an interest in sports. At the beginning of last summer, Otoupal moved back to his birth town which, “was kind of hard at first just because [he] didn’t know a ton of people, but with football especially, it definitely helped [him] make a ton of friends.”
The athletic nature of Otoupal’s family has always motivated him to push his limits. His brother and sister both play basketball and soccer, continuing to maintain the athletic spirit of the family. Otoupal’s mother played basketball in college, and his father played football for Stanford. His parents grew up as athletes and are seemingly raising their children to be athletically inclined, as Otoupal stated that his parents want nothing more than for him “to be successful.” As an older brother of two siblings, he paves the way for the next generation of athletes in his family.
For almost all of his life, Otoupal has had a love for basketball. He currently plays on the junior varsity team as a guard. He used to play for the club SpashLab, but he has not since starting high school basketball..
Otoupal’s first sport of the academic year was football. At the start of freshman year, he joined the freshmen football team, and in his first season of playing, his coach pulled him up to junior varsity for most of the season to play as a safety and wide receiver. After playing both football and basketball, Otoupal’s favorite part of both is “seeing people at school…being close [to people] and having close relationships.”
Four years ago, Otoupal picked up his third sport: lacrosse This past summer, Otoupal played for the 2022 Advnc Lacrosse Team. He played for the travel team, but since he plays multiple sports at a high level, Otoupal is only able to travel with Advance during the summer season. He commented, “It kind of sucks but, then again, I have a ton of teammates that are the exact same way.”
Otoupal did not hold back when discussing his love for sports in general, stating, “I mean, I’ve just always loved sports. They have always been my favorite thing to do. And I’ve grown up in sports because of my parents, but you can’t just be forced by your parents to play; you have to actually want to be good.” His ambition to continue his athletic career reaches past high school and on to college, as playing at higher levels has, “always been what [he has] wanted to do.”
In spite of the challenge of balancing three school sports and academics, freshman year is teaching Otoupal that he can manage both.
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