PHOENIX - Former Hamilton High School and Northern Arizona University running back Zach Bauman is living his dream, and you might say that his family is beaming with pride as they watch their son at camp with the Arizona Cardinals.
“It means everything,” said Zach’s mother, Lisa Bauman. “My kids are everything to me and it's been his lifelong dream to play in the NFL and my lifelong dream as well because I love football and so it just means the world to me.”
His dad Rickie chimed in, “To be hometown kid, you know, went to Hamilton, NAU, now he's here. Just to be able to say, ‘I play for the Arizona Cardinals,’ it's special, that is special.”
For Zach, he loves seeing his family in the stands.
“Oh, I love to see my dad, you know I always try to look up there find where they're at, you know,” Zach said. “NAU is a lot easier, the stadium was a lot smaller but I manage to find them every game.”
And “them” is a large group of Zach Bauman supporters. So far-reaching that his parents are sure that Zach has no idea how many people are pulling for him.
“He's the hometown kid, so I have my co-workers, everybody is cheering for him and supporting him so it's wonderful,” said Lisa.
“[Zach] would be amazed if he knew how many people are really so proud of him,” Rickie added. “You know, from work, neighbors, church, I mean, pretty much everywhere. There's so many that's behind Zach that's praying for him, that's pulling for him, you know, it's amazing. It is… it's awesome.”
However, it’s nerve racking for his mom right now, knowing that the first cuts are coming up in just a week and a half.
“I just pray and just you know, take it one day at a time and you know, he puts in the work so I just believe.” Lisa said. “That's all I can do, I can't even think about the end of it, I just, one day at a time.”
But that’s nothing compared to the nervousness his dad felt watching Zach take the field in his first NFL game.
“Him being a running back, you know, he has the potential to take a lot of punishment, so I was always nervous at NAU, but that game last week, I was really at peace until he got in, then I got a little nervous,” Rickie said.