Former South High star dazzles in debut as freshman starting quarterback

Van Williams | Alaska Sports Hall of FameAlaska Sports Hall of Fame

As the son of a football coach, many expected that Zach Lujan of Anchorage would quickly pick up the playbook at Chabot College.

But few saw the true freshman starting at quarterback in his first college game.

He did more than that, leading Chabot to a 32-17 victory over San Joaquin Delta College in California JC league action.

Lujan, a graduate of South High in Anchorage, completed 18-of-28 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns. His scoring strikes were 25, 34 and 6 yards.

“He’s come in and done a really good job in a short amount of time,” Chabot offensive coordinator Nick Goulet told the Bay Area News Group. “We’ve had him here for a little over a month, and he’s really picked up the offense. He’s further along than any incoming freshman that I’ve ever had at the quarterback position. A smart kid.”

Getting an opportunity to play right away is what led Lujan to Chabot.

“There’s not a lot of exposure in Alaska,” Lujan said. “Not a lot of coaches come up there and recruit us, so we have to be more proactive in going out and looking for places to play. I thought a junior college would be a good route, so I contacted the coaches here at Chabot, and they liked me.”

Van Williams, a 20-year local sports writer and the former sports editor of the Anchorage Daily News, writes about the athletic exploits of Alaskans for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. He can be reached at