December 04, 2013 - Before Wolves' junior quarterback D.J. Zezula stepped onto Ford Field on Saturday he was reflecting on the football season.
From left, Karen Zezula, DJ Zezula and Liz Zezula. Photo provided (click for larger version)
"It's everything I could hope for," he said. "It's everything I set out for in the spring and in the summer. I was looking for a blow out junior year and to lead my team to state finals. That is exactly what happened. I couldn't be more happier."
The feeling continued as Clarkston beat Detroit Catholic Central for the MHSAA Division 1 State Championship, 32-14.
Zezula finished the day completing 10 of 15 passes for 154 yards including two touchdown passes. He also received Honorable Mention for the All-State team.
Along with his teammates, they assisted their long-time head coach Kurt Richardson reach 203 wins and make it to Ford Field.
"It is one of the things none of us can wrap our heads around," he added. "It is an unbelievable thing to say we are the Clarkston team to help Coach Richardson reach his 200th win and help him step on Ford Field, to help the community it is just great. There are no words to describe how awesome it is."
The state championship game was the 13th consecutive win for the boys after opening the season with a loss to Rochester Adams it gave the team a boost.
"The loss was, I think, was well needed because all the publicity came out in August about how good we were going to be and what our rankings were in the state," he said. "It went straight to our heads. We saw in week one the OAA is a tough division and you have to produce every week."
He added every week following the boys headed into practice with the mindset it wasn't going to happen again.
Another boost in the year was his teammates helping him.
"They really helped me to become a leader," Zezula said. "We have a lot of individual talents and it helps me to become a better leader and the glue to bring all of these guys together so we could accomplish something great."
Zezula began playing football in third grade beginning with Clarkston Chiefs, explaining he took a liking to it as a child and his dad and family played the sport.
"I thought I would try it out and I ended up to be pretty good," he said, adding having family who played helped as he learned about football and found his position.
Plus, he always has them cheering for him at games with 15-20 family and friends cheering from the stands. He had 17 family member in attendance when he pitched for the varsity baseball team against Lake Orion last spring.
It was also with the Clarkston Chiefs he met his current teammates and formed a tight bond with them.
Being in football has helped in other sports he participates in through the year with the competition.
"Knowing I am not the best nor will ever be the best on any field I play I have to compete to be the best," he said. "That competitiveness in my personal attribute comes out in sports because I strive to be the best."
During the spring he pitches for the varsity baseball team and joined the team in his freshman year. During his sophomore year he threw 87 miles per hour and is one of the best hitters with his summer team.
His advice to aspiring athletes is to keep reaching.
"Reach places you have never been you have to do things you have never done," Zezula added.
He currently has a grade point averaged of 3.3 while taking advanced placement classes.
When he isn't studying or playing football he enjoys hunting, fishing and playing video games with his teammates.
"I love to play video games with all of the guys from the football team," he said. "It is one other thing that brings us closer together."
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Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.