Everyone knew running back Zach Charbonnet of Westlake Village Oaks Christian would be getting the handoff. The question was how to slow him down. It was like a hunter pursuing his prey, and this prey refused to make it easy.
In nine of the 11 games this season, Charbonnet rushed for more than 100 yards. And it wasn’t just against some last-place opponent.
There were 255 yards rushing against Calabasas. There were 176 and 143 yards in two games against West Hills Chaminade, as well as 224 yards against Murrieta Valley. In his most impressive effort, there were 221 yards against San Juan Capistrano JSerra, the third-place team from the Trinity League.
Charbonnet, headed to Michigan to play for Jim Harbaugh, has been selected The Times’ back of the year.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior averaged 8.2 yards per carry and finished with 1,770 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. He also was a starting cornerback for the Lions, who won to 12 straight before a season-ending loss to Bellflower St. John Bosco in the Southern Section Division 1 semifinals.
Against St. John Bosco, he had an interception and scored the Lions’ only touchdown on a 58-yard run.
His season was a result of hard work in the offseason to build up his strength, speed and durability. His desire to do his best for his teammates and refusal to ever be satisfied kept propelling him to success.