If Zach Abolverdi had a dollar for every time his last name was mispronounced … you just made him richer. Born in Orlando but raised in Gainesville since 1990, he grew up around Florida football during the Steve Spurrier era. He once threw a perfect spiral under Spurrier’s watchful eye at his summer camp. The Head Ball Coach told him, “That’s a nice throw for a little man, but hold that ball by your ear.” The 8-year-old gunslinger replied, “I already know how to throw a football.” He didn’t appreciate the little man comment either. Zach is a Hearst Award winner and graduate of the University of Florida. He enjoys spending time with family, Denzel Washington movies and only about a dozen music artists, most of whom go by their real name. College football, the NFL, March Madness and LeBron James provide his sports fix.

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