Trib HS Insider Q&A: Apollo-Ridge's Jesse Zelonka
TribLIVE Sports Videos
If Jesse Zelonka had his way, Apollo-Ridge would go five wide every play, and the junior quarterback would sling it downfield like Houston's David Klinger in the early 1990s.
But the Vikings try to be balanced in their offense, employing Zelonka as a runner as well.
In the team's opener, he rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 100 yards. In Week 2, he went back to the pass. Against Wilkinsburg, he unleashed for 266 yards passing and four touchdowns.
For the season, Zelonka has rushed for 181 yards on 40 carries and four TDs for the Vikings (1-2, 1-1). Passing, he's 21 of 58 for 450 yards and seven touchdowns.
Q: You and wide receiver Tre Tipton appear to have found that quarterback-receiver chemistry.
A: Yes. He is the receiver I look for most. He's our main athlete. You can tell we've been tight all along.
Q:What's been your highlight of the season so far?
A: On the opening play against Wilkinsburg. My throw to Alex Smith for a 73-yard touchdown.
Q: You had a knee injury that ended your baseball season last year. Are you done with that sport?
A: Yes. I am going to do track and field. Probably throwing the javelin and running the 100 and four-by-one (relay).
Q:Both of your brothers played at Apollo-Ridge and are now coaching. What have they meant to you?
A: Without them, I couldn't do it. They help me with everything. Last week, Josh told me, as far as expectations go, ‘Go in low and come out high.' That kind of took some pressure off.
Q:Are you into movies or music?
A: Music doesn't inspire me. I play XBox. Mostly NCAA Football and Call of Duty.
Q:So, you like to make jokes in the huddle?
A: I'm the laid-back, funny guy. As the leader at QB, I like to loosen the guys up. Our seniors were too serious last year. During my cadence against Wilkinsburg — we were up three or four TDs — I turned to my right guard Matt Thomas and said, ‘I love you man.' The linebacker was mocking us a little.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Former Pirates pitcher Happ agrees to $36 million, 3-year deal with Blue Jays
- Clairton among greatest WPIAL dynasties; Aliquippa, South Fayette close
- Gilbert, son of ex-Pitt football standout, commits to Panthers
- Unsung backups provide boost for Steelers defensive line
- WPIAL Class AAAA final preview: Penn-Trafford looking to reverse trend of playoff losses to Central Catholic
- Penguins notebook: Players prepared for tough schedule in minors
- Holiday cards evoke Pittsburgh cheer, benefit charities
- Fashion FYI: Cheeks lingerie store opens in Squirrel Hill
- WPIAL history full of football dynasties
- GOP Senators Rubio, Cruz at odds on tougher surveillance law
- WPIAL Class AAA final preview: Big-play passing attack paying off for defending WPIAL champion Central Valley