GRETNA, Neb. (BVM) — Zane Flores checks all the boxes for what Gretna head football coach Mike Kayl would want in a high school quarterback. Not only can the 6-foot-3, 200-pound multi-sport athlete throw every kind of pass well, but he also has a high level of coachability. And his intelligence combined with the effort he puts into the game — equal to the effort he puts into his school work as is evidenced by his 3.95 GPA — makes a coach’s life easier in multiple ways.
“He’s a quarterback that really knows the game of football,” Kayl said. “He’s very easy to coach because he wants to learn. He’s very competitive and he’s extremely humble despite having all the success that he’s had; he keeps a level head. … We’re fortunate to have him in our system and we’re fortunate that we’re going to have him for another year.”
Another year from now, a Division I college football program may feel just as fortunate to have Flores for the next four years. No official offers are on the table yet, but it’s likely only a matter of time before that changes for the star QB who completed 70% of his passes, threw for 2,885 yards and 26 TDs, and rushed for 216 yards and 10 more TDs as he led the Gretna Dragons to their first state championship in program history last month. Flores has received interest from Power 5 programs Northwestern, Kansas State, Iowa State and Nebraska and perennial FCS power North Dakota State, with K-State and Northwestern having the most contact with the talented signal-caller.
“When it comes down to it, it’s just going to be who wants me the most and where I see the best fit for myself,” said Flores, a first-team All-Nebraska selection and a three-year starter who’s thrown for 6,046 yards and 51 touchdowns in his career.
With one more season left at Grena, Flores has a chance to add to his legacy after already making school history with the Dragons (12-1), who won their final six games of the season to claim their first-ever state title — an accomplishment that was a long time coming but was by no means a given.
“We knew we weren’t too far off,” Kayl said. “Throughout the year we just kind of got better and got more confidence. Coming into the season whether or not I could say we were going to be state champions, that’s hard to say. I just thought we had a good shot to be a good team.”
“We knew we had a really good team, but when the season came we just took one game at a time,” Flores said. “It was definitely a cool experience to finally get that done and see all the hard work from the offseason paid off.”
Flores, who also competes in track and field in the spring, will continue to put in work to improve not only for his final season with Gretna but also for his future college team. He plans to spend the next year growing as a QB and getting faster and stronger for the next level — likely with a Power 5 program — where he’ll have the opportunity to reach his full potential as a quarterback.
“Playing football as long as I can,” Flores said. “That’s definitely my goal.”