Nov
20

Lights, camera and back in the action

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Football betrayed Zach Roye in 2012 when all he wanted to do was to go out with a bang at Rodriguez High School. His left fibula did not cooperate, breaking just three weeks into the season.

His football days were already numbered when the season kicked off. At 5-foot-8 and 170 pounds, the senior linebacker realized there was little chance of continuing his career even at a junior college. If the 2012 season was to be his last, Roye was determned to milk every practice and game for all they were worth.

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Zach Roye has found a way to remain involved in football as a videographer for practices and games at Sacramento State.

Time ran out for Roye before he could reach the finish line. however. His last hurrah was reduced to a whimper.

“The players treat you differently when you’re not actually out there, sweating and fighting with them,” Roye said. “There’s that little separation. You feel like you’re not a part of the team.”

Roye could have returned the cruel favor to football by turning his back on the sport, but his heart would not allow him to do so. Football had always been his game. No other sport came close.

Basketball is the favorite sport of his father, Tim, who now has an NBA championship ring to show for it as the radio voice of the Golden State Warriors. As much as Roye admires his father, he wants to create his own identity instead of being known as the son of a popular broadcaster.

“He’s got a real cool job and he’s really good at it, but I don’t want to sponge off him. He’s already done enough for me,” Roye said of his dad. “I’m in the process of figuring out what I’m good at.”

His father did provide a bit of assistance for Roye after he enrolled at Sacramento State in 2013 and asked how he could lend a hand in the football program. Roye was willing to do most anything.

“I asked if I could get involved,” Roye said, “even if it meant running for coffee or cleaning helmets.”

zach2Tim made a phone call that led to his son being a spotter for play-by-play man Jason Ross on the Hornets’ radio broadcasts. Roye learned each Sacramento State player’s name and jersey number – along with those of every opposing player – so he could feed them to Ross without having to look at a roster.

Roye went from the broadcast booth in 2013 to a hydraulic scaffold in 2014 to take video of each football practice and home game.  That scaffold will lift Roye 30 feet above the field when Sacramento State hosts UC Davis in the 62nd annual Causeway Classic on Saturday afternoon.

The 2:30 p.m. kickoff will allow Roye to catch a few extra winks.  He has to rise before the sun and be on the field by 6:30 a.m. when the Hornets have a practice. This is his second season as a videographer and he has yet to miss a practice despite having never been “a morning guy.”

This season is the first during which Roye can attend team meetings and watch his videos. “I get to see how my film is being used,” he said, “and it’s made me think I need to shoot better film.”

Those videos give the players and coaches an opportunity to analyze every drill and play. It has also taught Roye that college football is much more complex than the brand he played at Rodriguez.

“I want to be a sponge,” Roye said, “absorb as much from the coaches and players as I can.”

Roye hopes to put all the knowledge he is gaining to good use by becoming a coach. He is majoring in business, but a career in coaching is appealing. He might even ask for a copy of the playbook next season so he can develop a better understanding of how the Hornets do what they do.

A broken leg took football away from Roye in 2012. Now that he is back in the action, he plans to stay.

“My broken leg was kind of the end for me. You only get a certain amount of time to play. You never know when your last play is going to come,” he said. “Just because you hang up your cleats doesn’t mean you have to get away from the sport.

“What’s rubbed off on me from (his father) is that’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a long road. We share the same passion. It’s just for different sports.”

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