BROOMFIELD — All it took was one visit to their respective college campuses for Broomfield’s Hailey Mazzola and Holy Family’s Zack Trombley to know exactly where they wanted to be.
Mazzola, a standout soccer player for the Eagles, will continue her playing career at the University of Arizona. Trombley, a big bat in the defending Class 3A champion Tigers’ lineup, will play for the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
“I am really excited,” said Mazzola, a junior who gave her verbal commitment to the Wildcats. “I just really liked the atmosphere when I went down there and got to play at their camp, and actually getting to play on their field and getting the full experience, it just called to me.”
The 5-foot-10 defender, who is great out of the air, according to Broomfield coach Jim Davidson, scored one goal last season. More importantly, she helped anchor a defense that allowed just 16 goals all season.
“She is made of grit and she has been focused on this goal for years and this is not the sort of thing that just evolved over night,” Davidson said. “She loves the game about as much as any player I have ever coached. She is a complete soccer enthusiast, a soccer junkie.
“She is one of those kids that I have got to sometimes shut her down, because you worry about fatigue and that sort of thing. But just her will and her want and her desire to compete are high all the time.”
With college still two years away, Mazzola knows there is going to need to be improvements in her game if she wants to crack the varsity lineup as a freshman. She specifically points to her aerial game, but her certain brand of physical play is something that sets her apart and something coaches love.
“They said I am definitely going to have to work hard when I come in as a freshman,” Mazzola said. “I don’t know if I’ll play right away, but I can work my way into it.”
Trombley found out about the Pacers just by chance. His hitting coach, Chad Jacobsen, played for the Pacers before heading to the minors and recommended Trombley to their staff.
“He called them and told them about me and I made the trip out there,” Trombley said. “I had a quick tryout and that was that.”
The senior clean-up hitter for the Tigers went 3 for 3 with three runs scored and 3 RBIs in the state title game against Eaton last season and admits that heading somewhere new is very exciting.
“It’s a whole new life,” he said. “But I think it is a good fit for me.”
A versatile athlete that can play either first or third base, Trombley might have a realistic shot at stepping right into a starting role for coach Kenny Thomas. The two players now in those positions for the Pacers will likely get drafted and there will be a void that needs to be filled. If not defensively, Trombley’s bat is good enough to give him a go as a designated hitter.
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