Zac the Quarterback: Shomler came to Skyview determined to play QB

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

Published:

 
photoZac Shomler

Skyview Storm

Coach: Steve Kizer.

2013 record: 6-5, 3-2 4A GSHL.

Key players: Mike Haines, sr., ol/dl; Marquis Mitchell, jr., dl/ol; Blake Ingram jr., lb; Kyle Oman, sr., lb; Parker Baker, sr., te/dl; Marcus Lord, sr., te/dl; Zac Shomler, sr., qb; Jimmy Rowe, jr., ol/dl; Olive Emmy, jr., db; Josh Emmy, sr., rb; Jefferson Kiyasu, jr., db; Braden Hadfield, jr., k/wr; Andrue Jordan, sr., db; Alex Elliott, jr., db; Nick Bateman, sr., dl; Beyden Heppler, jr., rb/lb; Hayden Froeber, so., rb.

Season outlook: Until proven otherwise, the 4A GSHL is led by three teams. Skyview is one of those teams. The Storm don't just look for a playoff berth. They go after a league title. Kizer said he expects big things from his offensive line, and he loves the leadership from this squad.

2014 SCHEDULE

Sept. 5 at Walla Walla

Sept. 12 Woodinville

Sept. 19 at B. Ground*

Sept. 26 Heritage*

Oct. 3 at Camas*

Oct. 10 Mountain View*

Oct. 17 Columbia River

Oct. 24 at Evergreen*

Oct. 31 Union*

  • --4A GSHL game

Home games played at Kiggins Bowl

For more on high school football, go to The Columbian's high schools sports blog at:

blogs.columbian.com/high-school-sports

Coming Tuesday: Camas

They told him he was a defensive back, a safety.

Zac Shomler said he was a quarterback.

They said no.

Zac Shomler said yes.

So he went elsewhere to prove himself.

Today, Skyview has itself a quarterback, one that reminds the Storm of a couple of gems who are now playing college football.

Zac Shomler wants to do that, too.

In fact, he had three things on his to-do list while growing up in Portland with a passion for football.

"I wanted to win a state championship, play in college, and become a high school varsity quarterback," Shomler said. "Sadly, none of those three things were going to happen at David Douglas. It was painful and sad. When you're told you're not good enough, it doesn't seem right at all.

"God really pulled through, though. It's the best thing that ever happened to me."

The family moved to Vancouver last summer, landing at Skyview.

It was not a case of instant gratification. Skyview coaches gave the starting nod to a senior.

Shomler knew history was on his side, though. He had done his research. He knew that the last two great Skyview quarterbacks — Kieran McDonagh (now at Portland State) and Austin Dodge (Southern Oregon) also did not start Week 1 of their junior seasons.

Sure enough, an early season injury to the starter put Shomler atop the depth chart. Then he made the most of his opportunity, although he gave credit to all those around him.

"It's a testament to my team. They did a phenomenal job. The seniors accepted me," Shomler said.

The new guy turned into the guy behind center.

Skyview coach Steve Kizer saw the potential but it was not until Week 10 when he knew Shomler had that something extra. Shomler threw for 242 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another TD in Skyview's 38-10 playoff victory over sixth-ranked Curtis of University Place.

"That was a such a fun team game," Shomler said. "It wasn't me. Our team played phenomenal."

Shomler was good enough to bring back some fond memories.

"I just thought he reminded us of the old days with Dodge and McDonagh," said Kizer, referring to quarterbacks who led Skyview to one semifinal and one state championship game appearance.

Shomler ended up throwing for 20 touchdowns last season — as a varsity high school quarterback.

No matter what happened the past, Shomler has a lot of respect for the David Douglas coaches. He said they remind him of the Skyview coaches in that they care more about the person's character development and scholastic achievement than football.

Shomler left David Douglas because there was a difference of opinion of his abilities, and he was not ready to give up on his dream. Simple as that.

Shomler also knew he could outwork anybody.

Shomler's commitment to preparation is uncanny, Kizer said.

"I think he's been to every passing camp ever invented. He knows every quarterback coach in the country," Kizer said with the typical Kizer exaggeration-for-effect. "He's a sponge, too. He soaks up that knowledge. Every time he comes back from a camp, he's telling me something I didn't know."

About the only thing Shomler is lacking is height. At 5-foot-10, he is not the prototypical quarterback.

"He's our Russell Wilson," Kizer said.

Wilson and fellow "short" quarterback Drew Brees are Shomler's two favorite players.

Still, Shomler has heard it all his football life. He is too short for the position.

"It sucks. I think it's wrong," he said. "If I can play football, I can play football. I just have to show them what I can do."

In a way, that's how all the Storm are thinking going into the 2014 season. Not blessed with a lot of size, these players believe they will continue an impressive run: Skyview has reached the postseason nine consecutive seasons.

The eyeball test comes to mind.

Does that quarterback, or that running back, or that linebacker pass the eyeball test?

"None of us do," Shomler says proudly. "We just play football."