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Senior Profile: Troughton a big part of Maxwell's success
Zach Troughton stands out in a crowd. At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Troughton is blessed with size that any coach on any team would love to have.
Add in a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, and it's easy to see why the Panthers' big man is a consistent presence on all-league teams in three sports each year.
Fresh off a section-championship winning run in football after which he received All-Northern Section second team honors at offensive tackle, Troughton has already made the transition to basketball season, where he is one of the best centers in Division VI.
"I knew we were going to have a good basketball season, but we wanted to get that football (championship) first. We have a lot of good athletes here. We have a real good senior class," Troughton said.
A captain in every sport, Troughton is just one part of a senior class which features veteran players who have started since they were sophomores.
"We had a bunch of seniors, and that helps a lot," Troughton said. "A lot of section championship teams have a good senior class. The leadership and hard work in practice, it's really the seniors who help with that."
With the section championship secured on the football field, Troughton and the Panthers have their sights set on winning a basketball title, something that hasn't happened since he arrived in high school.
Armed with a soft shooting touch and towering, physical presence in the paint, Troughton is averaging 13.3 points and 9.1 rebounds a game for the Panthers (12-2).
But perhaps his best sport is baseball, where he was the winning pitcher in the Division V championship game. Troughton pitched five shutout innings and drove in two runs at the plate in Maxwell's 8-0 win against Chester.
The left-hander is armed with a tailing fastball in the low 80s, a big-breaking curveball and a pinpoint change-up. With confidence in every pitch in his arsenal, Troughton went 7-3 with a 82 strikeouts in 571⁄3 innings while giving up just 42 hits and 23 walks during his junior season.
"When I had (Eric Lay) as my coach, he was a really good coach, and he taught me a lot. He helped open my eyes that if I worked hard, I could be pretty good," he said.
Troughton learned a lot as a member of the 30-0 section championship winning team his freshman year, when Lay was still coaching at Maxwell and ace pitchers Tyler Wells and Steven Perry were on the mound.
Recently, Troughton threw around with Wells, who is pitching at University of Nevada, Reno, and keeps in touch with Perry. Their success served as an inspiration, he said.
"(Wells) throws in the 90s — it's a little bit scary," Troughton said. "He's just as good as in college as he was in high school. I'm hoping he gets drafted."
This year, Troughton hopes to add a third baseball section title to his resume, and the team has a good chance to do it. The Panthers lost just two seniors from last year's team, all four pitchers are returning and the team's catcher, Blake Vierra, hit nearly .500 last season.
Troughton wants to play football in college and has been talking to the football coaches at Shasta College about possibly playing on the offensive line there next year. He is also keeping his options open for baseball, but football is his first choice.
While in college, Troughton wants to study either engineering, because he has an affinity for math, or physical therapy, to become a physical therapist to work in sports.
CONTACT Kirk Barron at 749-4789