Wins and losses are not the only important thing for football players. Tuft University went 0-8 this season, losing some very close games including an overtime defeat to Colby, but St. John’s Prep’s Zak Kline of Beverly, never regretted his decision to play for the Jumbos.
Tufts may not have been able to pick up a “W” on the field, but were definitely winners as far as community service went.
Kline, a 2008 Prep graduate, is a six-foot, 225 pound senior defensive end. He had 11 solo tackles and five assists in the six games he played this past season.
“I love football and being able to go out there every day with my teammates,” said Kline. “I made a lot of great friends, and Tufts is a place I love. At the end of the day I was able to play a sport I have always loved with people I care a lot about.
“One of the main reasons I was attracted to NESCAC schools was because so many of my Prep teammates were either playing at other schools in the league or committed to play. I it was always nice to run into old friends and talk smack. I suited up against former teammates like Marty Robledo and Griffin Cardew at Bowdoin, Kevin Davis at Bates, or Nate Cyr at Trinity.”
Kayin Cherry, a senior wide receiver from Salem and Tabor Academy, and sophomore defensive lineman James Brao of Hamilton-Wenham also played for Tufts. Kline is an English major, who went to Los Angeles for an internship last summer. After graduation he wants to work in the entertainment field as a director or producer in California.
The Tufts football team is affiliated with Team Impact, a non-profit organization that pairs up athletes with seriously ill children. Board members include former Tufts alumni Dan Kraft. Kline helped the Jumbos plan some special events for eight-year old Riley Roman of South Hadley, who had a rapidly growing cancerous brain tumor.