Halfback ready to sing different tune

Coming off a 2-6 football season in 2017, Milford High is looking to sing a different tune.

Who better than senior Owen Zalenski to lead the Spartans?

“I like to sing, in the shower, in the car, anywhere,” said Zalenski, a running back/defensive back for coach Keith Jones’ club. “I’ll sing anything, well, anything but country.”

Before he bids for Milford’s “King of Karaoke,” Zalenski and the Spartans have some business at which to attend. A few days into official practice, he likes what he sees from a club that has a ton of seniors to replace but some truly talented athletes on the way to fill those gaps.

We took a few minutes to chat with Owen about the season, senior year, and yes, his dulct tones.

OK, Owen, is it singing, or is it rapping for you?

“Like I said, I’ll sing anything. but Drake is pretty good, and I really like Boogie with a Hoodie. I usually go with the flow, though.”

So talk to me about Milford High football. How are things so far?

“It was tough, on opening day at practice, it rained all day, and our grounds crew wouldn’t let us on the field with cleats. But you do what you can. I think we’re going to be ready.”

The old adage says championships are won in the offseason. Have you guys paid your dues?

“Captain’s practices, as a whole, we wanted more kids to show up. For the kids who did go, it was very good. Summer kind of flew by, and now we’re here.”

How about individually, are you ready?

“I did lift hard. I feel like I’m strong enough, but I could have used a few more pounds.”

A lot of pretty good seniors moved on. It looks like opportunity is knocking. What are your prospects?

“We had a lot of seniors last year, so I played special teams. This year, I think I have a good chance of starting in the backfield. My main goal is to do better than 2-6 as a team. I just want to help my team get better any way that I can.”

Is this it for you in the game of football? That must be pretty emotional, right?

“Yes, I’m not going to play football in college. And I’ve been playing since the seventh grade. It’s been fun. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet that this is it.

“Maybe that’s because it’s just started It’s definitely more important than any other year. It’s a huge season.”

Do you play any other sports for Milford High?

“Well, I ski in the winter, so I don’t do anything in that season. Last year, I ran track. I’m not sure about that.”

Skiing, wow. And you don’t ski for the school?

“It takes a ton of time. I’m just into the fun of it.”

Where do you ski?

“I usually ski at Crotched Mountain, but I actually went out to ski in Utah last year at Park City and Snow Basin. It’s just so much bigger and grander. Everything is just bigger out West.”

Any other trips this summer?

“I went back out to Utah again, not for skiing, though. I visited family out there and looked at a couple schools, Utah State and Weber State. They were really nice. I’m considering going out there, but it’s a little far away.”

Sounds like a great time, how was the rest of the summer?

“We spent some time at our lake house in East Wakefield. It’s a little cottage on Balch Lake. I got to see some family that I really don’t see that much, do some swimming and boating, but I’m not much of a fisherman.”

Not to sound a little tough on you Owen, but it seems like you had a heck of a relaxing summer. Good for you, but how about that work ethic?

“I have a job, too. I’ve been washing dishes at Mile Away. A bunch of the kids on the team work there.”

And how about the food, big guy?

“I hear it’s great, but I really don’t go there all that much. It’s pretty expensive.”