STILWELL, Kan. – You will hear a promising tune from Blue Valley’s football program in 2017.
The Tigers are due to begin their season on Friday night, meeting up with rival Bishop Miege in Roeland Park. This Friday marks the first full night of football for teams in the Sunflower State. One of the Tigers’ top talents has been known to pass on the pigskin in favor of a fiddle.
If 17-year old Zach Terrell isn’t on the football field, you’ll likely find him with a violin in hand. It isn’t every offensive lineman who knows the bow as well as blocking. Terrell says he first picked up the violin four years ago, and he couldn’t get enough of the sound.
“Unlike like most people, my parents didn't make me,” Terrell said on Wednesday. “I kind of was listening to music and said, 'That music sounds really cool’.”
Terrell, who claims Bach and Mendelssohn as his musical muses, is active in the Blue Valley High School orchestra, and often plays solo and ensemble pieces on the side. His musical interests range from Old World classics to traditional country and Celtic music.
“I just heard that fiddle music, and all the old country songs and it was just a different sound that you don't hear from any other instrument,” Terrell said.
His love for the instrument didn’t stop there. The Tigers starting center is now a member of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, where he and his playing partner, Angela Jiang, play as many as five concerts per year at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
“He's pretty good. He's very passionate about music,” Jiang told FOX 4 News.”He picks up his violin and plays whenever he has free time.”
Terrell was even rated "one" at the KSHSAA State Solo and Ensemble Festival, proving the Blue Valley senior is one of the state’s best young musicians. His family is also proud of his perfect 4.0 grade average.
Zach’s father, Allen Terrell, is now the Tigers’ new head coach, having spent five years as an assistant coach under the late Eric Driskell. The older Terrell says his side of the family is filled with music-makers, some of whom were instrumentalists.
“When other kids go home and pick up the Playstation controller or the TV remote, Zach picks up his violin and practices relentlessly. He practices relentlessly and he's become really accomplished at it,” Coach Terrell said
“It's fun to play the violin. The only person you can blame is yourself for messing up. You have to be so perfect if you want to sound good,” Zach Terrell said.
Terrell has one final season of high school football, which gets going on Friday evening. He says he dreams of attending college at Stanford, but no matter where he goes, he’d like to play in the college orchestra. Playing football as a collegiate wouldn’t be bad either.