Zack Hill North Bears

Zack Hill, wearing number 69, started for the North Bears at right tackle.

SOUTH CHARLESTON – Trojan head coach Aaron Rule and freshly graduated offensive tackle Zack Hill spent 6 days in our state’s capital last week participating in the annual North-South Football Classic.

“It was an honor to be selected,” said Hill.

“It meant so much to me.”

Hill’s efforts during practices throughout the week earned him a slot as a starter for the North Bears.

Hill and his brothers in blue did the best they could, but the South Cardinals defeated the North 30-13 at South Charleston High School last Saturday. 

This was the 1st Cardinal victory since 2015 when the South won 7-0. 

The South holds a significant advantage in the all-time series, 41-24-3.

With the presence of coach Rule in addition to Hill, Hampshire High pride was on full display.

“Having us both down there was pretty awesome,” said Rule.

“It was a phenomenal experience working with 31 of the best players from the northern part of the state. I got a little spoiled since they were all seniors so obviously they know what they are doing.”

Coach Rule enjoyed working with North head coach Brian Thomas of Musselman and assistants Matt Altobello of Moorefield and Paul Burdette of Roane County.

“We mapped out what we wanted to do early in the week and we had the majority of our offense installed in a day and a half,” explained Rule.

“These players were like sponges, just taking everything in. We had different types of quarterbacks and different types of running backs, so we had 3 different types of formations with packages.”

Hill and Rule both were a little worn out by the time they arrived home as the schedule was non-stop from checking in on Monday, June 6, until after the game on Saturday.

“I’m still exhausted and I know Zack is still exhausted,” admitted Rule.

“Breakfast. Practice. Lunch. Practice. Then a team activity in the evening.”

One of those team activities was the highlight of the week for Zack Hill, movie night.

“Watching Top Gun with the guys on Monday was the highlight for me,” said Hill with a laugh.

“But really, just meeting new guys and meeting new people and how to do things.”

Although the Bears came up short on game day at Black Eagle stadium, coach Rule came away with new knowledge and ready to share with his Trojan players.

“In fact, the drill we just ran at the end of practice was a conditioning drill that I learned down there,” said Rule.

“It was competition and teamwork mixed in with change of direction to try and make them better athletes.”

Overall the experience was fun, but being able to share ideas and converse with some of the best football minds in the state was the highlight for Rule.

“I probably got a lot more out of it than some of the players did.” 

Rule hopes that he can be on the sidelines next June coaching another one of his Trojans after a successful 2022 campaign. o

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