Leader Times Q&A: Kittanning's Zane Dudek
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.