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The only way to defend Rivers was to grab a hold of him

Rivers headed to Alabama A&M

By Michael Butler

Tallassee High School senior lineman Zeryes "Z-Man" Rivers will be continuing his education and his football playing days at Alabama A&M University in Normal.

Rivers is receiving a full scholarship to play in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. He was a first-team slection on the Montgomery Advertiser Class 5A-7A All-Metro football team. The 6-1, 305 pounder started on the offensive and defensive lines. He was the team leader in tackles with 72. He also had 12 tackles for loss with three sacks while forcing four fumbles and recovering two fumbles.

"I'm happy for Z-Man and his family," THS head football coach Mike Battles said. "Alabama A&M is getting a good football player and a good person. I look forward to watching him these next several years."

James Spady is the Bulldogs head coach entering his third year. The team went 3-8 last year. Former Elmore County head football coach Travis Pearson is joining the staff this season as defensive coordinator. He spent the last two years at the same position at South Alabama.

A&M will play the annual "Magic City Classic" vs. Alabama State on Oct. 29 at Birmingham's Legion Field. They travel to Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov. 29.

Q & A with Z-Man

Q: What does it mean to know you get to continue playing football?
A: It means a lot knowing that I am getting a free education while doing something that I love doing, playing football.

Q: Tell what you know about Alabama A&M.
A: I really don't know that much about Alabama A&M, but I really enjoyed my visit up there and I got a feeling as if I were at home.

Q: What are your thoughts on the college experience outside of football?
A: I know that I have have to stay focused and keep a good head on my shoulders to make sure I get my education.

Q: Do you have any ideas about your major yet?
A: I've been thinking about majoring in forensic science, but right now I'm undecided.

Q: What was your dad’s response when the offer came at A&M (Z-Man's father played at Jacksonville State)?
A: At the time he was at work. My sister took me up to Huntsville. When I finally talked to him all he could do was laugh and say thank God.

Q: How did you get the nickname, “Z-Man?”
A: I got (it) from one of my mother's friends when I was younger.

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