Zachary Shay looked on helplessly during pregame warmups Thursday. He asked for a football and started tossing it around. Moments later he was catching practice punts.
All while wearing a letterman jacket and pair of slacks.
The senior has been sidelined since suffering a concussion Sept. 9 in Bishop Amat's 49-14 loss to Servite. Shay is hopeful for a return to the field Friday night when Amat (5-1) opens Serra League play at home against defending league champion Alemany. Needless to say, the Lancers could use No. 5's services.
"At least [the concussion] happened early in the season," Shay joked prior to Amat's 38-35 win at Venice last week.
Shay would know about long layoffs. A severely sprained ankle forced him to miss the final five games last season. He had been one of the team's most productive players before the injury, scoring seven touchdowns and amassing 907 total yards in a versatile role.
"I don't know if you replace him, but we're trying to figure it out," Lancers coach Steve Hagerty said. "We're like a step off. We're trying to find that little step."
Senior tailback Jalen Moore has answered the call, rushing for 847 yards and 12 touchdowns in the last four games. "Zach is always telling me what I need to do better, what's there and what's not," Moore said. "Zach is still a big part of this team."
Even when Shay's in slacks.
Blair Angulo covers preps for ESPN Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter.