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Lancaster High School head football coach Bennie McMurray said a host of adjectives aptly describe Bruins’ senior running back Zed Truesdale.
One quality McMurray stresses is that Truesdale, a three-sport athlete, sets a good example.
“We tell our players to lead by example,” McMurray said. “Zed is a senior leader and role model to our younger players. He works hard in the weight room and does all the little things you have to do.”
Truesdale, a six-foot, 185-pounder, has even learned from himself.
When he first moved to the varsity as a freshman, Truesdale regarded himself as a “high runner.”
Truesdale said his “straight-up” running style likely led to a broken collarbone early that season.
“I got hurt, but I learned from it,” Truesdale said.
Truesdale, with the help of LHS running backs coach Lamont Elder, developed a running style which has led to a solid career out of the Bruins’ backfield.
“He ran so high, but he’s learned to run behind his shoulder pads,” Elder said. “Coming to high school football it’s a different game.
“Now, Zed can mix it up,” Elder said. “He can get those tough yards running behind his shoulder pads and he can turn those short ones into long ones. We’re just trying to hit the hole as quick as possible. That’s the key to being a good running back.”
Truesdale said Elder has helped him become a better running back.
“You can’t always go to the sideline and outrun everybody,” Truesdale said. “Coach Elder has helped me learn to read blocks, take proper angles and lower my shoulder pads for those tough yards.”
Truesdale, who ran for 840 yards and six touchdowns in earning all-county and second-team all-region honors last fall in LHS’s 10-4 season, opened his senior season in splendid fashion last week at Andrew Jackson.
He ran for 223 yards on 22 carries and scored three touchdowns, including runs of 56 and 67 yards to go with a nine-yard TD dash, in the Bruins’ 32-7 win over the Volunteers.
“My goal was to rush for 200 yards and I accomplished that,” he said. “I wanted to make a statement and I wanted to do that with a bang. It wasn’t so much that it was against AJ. I just wanted to have a good start and I want to keep it going.”
Truesdale added he shares in his success.
“I appreciate my offensive line and wide receivers,” Truesdale said. “I didn’t do this by myself. People blocking on plays were helping me, too. I’m not a big spotlight guy. I’m happy with my role, anything to get us a win.”
Truesdale said teamwork will play a major role in the Bruins’ success.
“I feel good about our team,” he said. “We’re young, but they’re growing up. I think we can get back to where we were last year.
“The key is everybody wanting to do the same thing,” Truesdale said. “We don’t need any egos.”
Bruins’ assistant coach Joe Watson, who coaches the LHS offensive line, said Truesdale will again provide the spark with another vital quality.
“Zed has matured a great deal since he’s been on the varsity,” Watson said. “He has that ‘want to,’ the drive. Zed wants to be successful.”