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Leader Times Q&A: Kittanning's Zane Dudek

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 1:01 a.m.
Bill Shirley | For The Valley News Dispatch
Kittanning running back Zane Dudek (left) attempts to shake the tackle of Freeport's Logan Thimons on his way to a nice gain during first half action on Friday, Aug. 30, 2013, at James Shwartz Memorial Field in Freeport.

The main story last Friday was Kittanning's fifth straight win to open the season, but a major development going forward for the Wildcats was the return of freshman running back Zane Dudek.

Dudek, who had been out of the lineup with a hip injury since the team's second game against East Allegheny, provided a spark with 74 yards and a pair of touchdown runs in Kittanning's 48-14 win at Burrell.

The opening-night starter at running back for the Wildcats, Dudek has 188 yards and five touchdowns in just 2½ games played.

The return of the 5-foot-10, 165-pound back adds another weapon to a Kittanning offense that already has a trio of big-play threats in quarterback Braydon Toy, receiver/running back Nick Bowers and emerging receiver Alek Schaffer.

Q: What did it feel like when you suffered your hip injury?

A: I couldn't put any weight on it. People were telling me to get up, and I couldn't. It was probably the worst pain I've ever been in.

Q: Were you worried your season would be over?

A: When I was getting carried off the field and in the locker room at halftime, I thought it could've been the end of the season, but after talking to (medical staff), they made it sound a little better. At first, I thought I was done.

Q: What was it like making the jump straight from junior high to varsity?

A: I was ready for it. The first night, I was pretty nervous, but after I got that first play in, it was just like 100 other football games I've played.

Q: Did the older varsity players make you feel welcome?

A: This is definitely the best team I've ever played on. We all love each other, and everyone treats each other well. It's just fun being around them everywhere we go.

Q: Even as the starting runningback, were there still duties you had to do as a freshman?

A: Yeah, you still have to clean up after practice and do your time as a freshman. Everyone's been there and done that, and I respect that and help clean up with the other freshmen.

Q: Do you have any individual goals for the rest of your first year?

A: Going 9-0 is the main goal. I want to win, and that team goal is the one I want, and I think me being on the field helps us. The individual goal is just to get back to 100 percent.

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