Butte College’s football team is headed to the NorCal title game riding a seven-game winning streak, and Maxwell High School graduate Zachary Troughton is helping pave the way for the Roadrunners.
Troughton, a sophomore tackle at Butte College, decided to return to Butte this year despite being selected all-league and receiving three scholarship offers from Division I schools after his freshman season, for a number of reasons.
“I knew we were going to have a good team this year and we could do big things,” Troughton said.
With the Roadrunners (9-2) now two wins away from a state championship, Troughton’s assessment of his team could prove prescient.
“We have the potential to be the best team in the state. If all eleven of us on both sides of the ball do our jobs, then no one can beat us,” Troughton said. “If you look back at our two losses, we really beat ourselves – whether it’s missed assignments, penalties or turnovers. We were the better team, but we didn’t play like the better team that particular day.”
They showed that to be the case last week. One of their two losses this season was a 14-7 defeat at the hands of San Mateo. The Roadrunners haven’t lost since then. More importantly, they beat San Mateo 30-12 in the first round of the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Playoffs.
“We left two or three touchdowns off the board the last time we played them,” Troughton said.
Troughton came back to Butte, in part, because he knew he would be coming back to a talented team, but it wasn’t the only reason. Troughton simply felt he wasn’t ready for Division I football.
“(I thought) another year at Butte would get me where I wanted to be,” Troughton said.
He’s hoping that will pay off, too. Troughton continued to play at a high level this year, and was once again an all-league selection. He said that he hopes to have some more offers coming in from schools in the coming weeks.
He’s hoping those offers come from schools that are relatively close to home.
Two of his scholarship offers last year were from University of South Florida and Hawaii. Troughton’s family is a regular fixture at his football games, and it would be hard for them to see him play in either state.
“I wanted an offer close to home so my family members could come watch, and I didn’t really get one until it was too late, and I had already decided to stay at Butte,” he said. “I haven’t received any D-I offers closer to home yet, but I’m hoping I will get some here in the next couple of weeks. The closest I have right now is Utah State.”
Ideally, Troughton is hoping for an offer from a school that is within driving distance of Maxwell and in the PAC-12, but he doesn’t necessarily have a specific school in mind.
“I can’t really say that I have a dream school, because for me any Division 1 school would be a dream come true,” Troughton said.
Being within driving distance of Maxwell would not only allow Troughton’s parents to attend his games, but it would also keep him close to a community that has shaped him as a football player.
“Maxwell definitely benefited me because it shaped the person I am today. I feel like coming from a smaller school, I have a bigger chip on my shoulder because I want to make the town of Maxwell proud. It’s always been fun telling recruiters that my graduating class only had 27 or 28 people,” Troughton said. “Maxwell and Colusa County are one of my biggest motivations and I couldn’t be more proud to be from a small farming town in Northern California.”
Robert Wilson, Troughton’s high school coach, said that Troughton has all the tools to play at the next level.
“I have only good things to say about Zach. He was a good player for us, and was like the coach on the field with the linemen,” Wilson said. “I’m hoping he can move up. He always had a lot of potential, he just had to get into the weight room and get quicker feet.”
So far, it seems like Troughton’s desire to make his hometown proud has driven him to become an even better player.
“I got a chance to watch him a couple weeks ago, and he did really well. Never got beat once, and he was constantly driving his guy off the ball,” Wilson said. “He didn’t get challenged too much at our level, but he has been challenged at Butte. When he gets challenged, he has stepped up.” ▪