The Hightower varsity football program moved up from 5A to 6A Division 1 after making a deep run in 2021. In the 2022 season, they again went deep into the playoffs before being stopped by CE King in the regional semifinals. With many weapons returning for their senior season, the Hightower Hurricanes have their eyes set on again making a deep run in the playoffs. One of those returning weapons is Zion Kearny, a four-star wide receiver who has committed to the University of Oklahoma.
“At the camp, I worked under Coach Jones and saw how he taught the game,” said Kearney. “When I first got the offer from Oklahoma, I took my visit and something was just different. The coaching staff was nice. They understood that there were other schools competing at a higher level, but they were saying, watch what we’re going to do. And I like that type of mentality.”
Kearny received over 30 offers but felt that the University of Oklahoma was the best fit for his skill set. Last season as a junior, Kearny accounted for over 700 receiving yards and pulled in eight touchdowns.
“Zion is a power five receiver, and he understands there are going to be defensive players who are going to try to make a name for themselves by stopping him,” said Hightower head coach Cornelius Anthony. “So, when they double him, we have to go somewhere else with the ball and he is the consummate team player to understand that. He’s mature enough not to pout, just be patient and know at some point in time because of the other weapons we have, they’re going to have to single him up, and when they do; touchdown!”
Kearney is a humble kid with humble beginnings. He began playing football at five years old with the Fresno Gators. After leaving the Gators he began playing with the Stafford Cobras where he first began to play wide receiver. He attended Lake Olympian Middle School, then enrolled at Hightower High School.
Unwavering in his dedication, Kearney showed enough skill to be moved up to varsity during playoffs his freshman year. Sophomore year, he began to play real minutes.
“At that time, I was the third receiver on the depth chart, behind Caleb Douglas and Kaleb Johnson. They were ahead of me, but they taught me a lot about the game,” said Kearney.
By sitting under upperclassmen, Kearney was able to learn the importance of route running and timing. So, in the off-season, he began dedicating his training to those two pillars.
“I’ve worked with Jared Bailey at Footwork King on Twitch, getting in and out of cuts, getting yards after catch. We also worked on knowing how to get open and create space as well as jump balls,” said Kearney.
Kearney has put in the work, however, during Hightower’s 2022 season, while the team was making their playoff run, Kearney suffered a broken wrist.
“I played through it. At the end of the season, I got it checked out, and that’s when they told me it was broken,” said Kearney.
Kearney is a tough, talented player, who has the accolades, but is also a great teammate.
“I say just keep your head down. Everybody is going to have a different story. Grind, work hard, and don’t worry about what the next person has going on because you have your own story to worry about,” said Kearney.
About Zion Kearney
Height & weight: 6-feet-3, 198 pounds
Status: Committed to The University of Oklahoma
Favorite artist: YTB Fatt
Favorite subject: Social Studies
Shout-outs: My family, my team and everyone that has supported me