Harvard's Zavala Goes From Walk-On to Rhodes Scholar

Kate Leist
The Harvard Crimson
Cambridge, MA

Any athlete will always remember the last game they played, and for a Harvard football player, going out with The Game provides a particularly memorable backdrop.

For senior Zar Zavala, it would have been hard to top his first three Harvard-Yale weekends, all of which involved rings—championship rings in his freshman and sophomore seasons, and an engagement ring for his now-fiancée, Melanie, last year.

There was no ring to be won this fall. But on top of his class’ perfect 4-0 record against the Bulldogs, Zavala earned a different kind of prize: a Rhodes Scholarship.

“I’m walking down the field, searching for my family,” Zavala says of the moments after the Nov. 20 win. “I’m finding everyone I’ve known for the past four years except for my fiancée. I finally find her, she hands me my phone...and there was a text: ‘Congratulations, you’re a Rhodes Scholar.’”

“The whole team was around me—they were more anxious than I was,” he continues. “I told them yes, and pandemonium broke out. It was insane.”

For the El Paso, Texas native, winning the Rhodes Scholarship represented the culmination of four years of hard work in the classroom.

Read more: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2010/11/30/football-feature-zavala-113010/