I'm Zack. I've been contributing for BSL since late October of 2012, when I reached out to Chris after hearing he was looking for Terps analysts. Before that, I was writing articles for a small (now defunct) ACC sports-related site called ACC Sports Nation.
This past May, I graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. degree in Government and Politics. I was a transfer student, transferring from the Community College of Baltimore County in January of 2014 after receiving my A.A. degree in Political Science. UMD was actually the only college I applied to transfer to, it's been my dream school for as long as I can remember.
I've been a huge Terps fan my entire life. My Dad raised me a Terps fan (as well as an Orioles and Ravens fan). He didn't go to UMD, but since UMBC doesn't have many quality athletic programs, he rooted for Maryland. I still remember staying up to watch the 2002 National Championship game. It was one of my very first sports memories. For whatever reason, I gravitated strongly towards Terps football, which is what I focus my efforts on here at BSL. I obviously love Terps basketball, but after seeing my first Maryland football game at Byrd Stadium in 2008 (saw the Terps shutout #19 Wake Forest 26-0), I was hooked.
Obviously, athletics had a huge impact on my transfer to Maryland, and I got very involved in the student aspect of athletics once I arrived on campus. In my senior year, I was named the President of The Pride, which is the largest student organization at UMD. The organization's mission is to improve students' experiences at athletic events through events, giveaways, tailgates, etc. It was a huge opportunity for me, and the organization saw exponential growth while I was leading it. We were named the #2 Student Section in the Nation by the National Collegiate Student Section Association, and our men's basketball student section won the Big Ten Network's Home Court Challenge. I led a group of 50 students on a road trip to Columbus, OH to see the football team play Ohio State, and organized watch parties on campus for hundreds of students to watch the men's basketball team play North Carolina, Indiana, and Kansas. One of my favorite memories was camping outside the doors of the XFINITY Center before the Georgetown game last year. Skipped all of my classes that day just to spend the day outside the arena. Got front and center seating, and was on the court behind Scott Van Pelt as he broadcasted SportsCenter live from the floor. Now that I've graduated, I won't get to every single Maryland game, but I'll be at as many as possible.
As I mentioned above, I'm also a big Orioles and Ravens fan. I'm young enough that I didn't see a winning season from the Orioles until 2012, and suffered through those long losing seasons. I get my love of the Orioles from my Dad, and from my Grandmother, who has been a die-hard Orioles fan since they moved to Baltimore in 1954. Her stories of the great teams of old were what kept me going during those losing years. My love of the Ravens also came from my Dad, who still owns a 1996 Vinny Testaverde jersey. So. Freaking. Cool.
I'm also a musician who comes from a family of musicians, and I've been playing percussion and drums for the past 10 years. I currently perform with the Columbia Concert Band, a community symphonic band with about 100 members. We perform free concerts in the Columbia, MD area and are currently preparing for our fall concert schedule.
I'm currently searching for a job in Washington, D.C. Most of my leads have been with various defense contractors, and I'm hoping to have something more concrete to say about my job status in a week or two (fingers crossed). My goal is to work in the political arena, the specifics of which are undetermined. Political Office, Lobbyist, Staffer, etc. are all in the cards. Eventually, I'd like to be working on policy to improve the lives of veterans attempting to re-integrate into society, and to improve our country's treatment of mental health (these obviously overlap a lot).
So that's me. You'll mostly find me in the Maryland sections of the board, but I occasionally venture into the Orioles/Ravens sections. I'm a huge college football fan, so I'll be very active in that thread for the next few months.
Go Terps, Go Orioles, Go Ravens!