It maybe game day, but its time to dish out a brand new blog post here on NoontimeSports.com, featuring the student-athletes we cover!
For the first-time – and there will be more, we promise – Noontime Sports is proud to present ‘Catching Up,’ a Q&A blog post with a student-athlete about their respective sport, studies and hobbies.
This week, we get things rolling with Plymouth State junior Blair Zentek, who is a member of the Panthers’ football team.
Zentek – a defensive back from Simsbury, Connecticut – has helped the Panthers enjoy a successful start to their season behind an impressive 18 total tackles, 13 solo stops and a career-best five interceptions.
Plymouth State is in action this afternoon when they take on Westfield State with kickoff slated for 2 p.m.
For the second-straight week, you produced a pick-six – how has your defense helped with making this happen in back-to-back weeks?
Our defense has been playing at a very high level (over the past few weeks). In fact, our defensive-line does a great job of getting to the quarterback (and providing the necessary) pressure, so I just have been in the right place (for the pick-six).
For the first-time since 2007, the Panthers have started their season with four consecutive wins. What’s been the secret behind your team’s early season success?
There is plenty our team has to work on, however, I would say the communication has played an important role – we are doing much better (communicating) than past years. We’ve had a complete team effort (over the past four weeks) from our offense, defense and special teams.
Tell me about that Mount Ida game. It came down to a two-point conversion in overtime, so how did you and the defense clamp down and force their quarterback’s pass to fall incomplete?
That was a crazy game. It just came down to focusing on doing our job and not trying to do too much. On that particular play, our defensive line flushed their quarterback out of the pocket and forced him to scramble. And as a result, he threw a pass that we were able to knock down.
What’s the biggest goal facing the Panthers for the remainder of the season?
Fundamentals. We are going to have to be a better tackling team week-by -week. Another goal is going to be winning the turnover battle … that’s going to be our main focus.
You are majoring in Business Management – what interested you in this particular major?
My father has his own Allstate Insurance business and I enjoy working with numbers as well with people.
What interested you in playing football growing up? Did you have a favorite team or player?
My brothers played football growing up (when my family and) I lived in Texas. I fell in love with (the sport) as soon as I put on a helmet. My favorite football team is the Tennessee Titans.
Do you have a favorite safety that either played or is currently playing in the NFL?
There were a few safeties that I really enjoyed watching (growing up, but) I would say Ed Reed is my favorite.
Three songs on your iPod now (or iPhone): “Kings Never Die” by Eminem, “Feeling This” -Blink182 and “We Didn’t Start The Fire” by Billy Joel
Favorite pre-game meal: A solid breakfast with eggs, bacon, and always a cup of fruit.
All-time favorite movie: It’s hard to choose one, but my three favorites are Toy Story, Forest Gump, and I Am Legend.
What’s the last book you read for pleasure? Sekret Machines by Tom DeLonge.