The New England Free Jacks signed Zachary Bastres to a one-year developmental contract. The 22-year-old center/wing is 6’2″ and 215 lbs.
Zach is from Erie, Colorado, and had primarily been a tennis and football player up until his high school years at Monarch High School. He began playing rugby his Sophomore year and the team won the D1 State Championship his senior year in 2017. He also was selected to the Colorado All-State team all three years of his high school career.
He then attended the University of Northern Colorado from 2017-2021, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminjustic Justice and Criminology. He played rugby and in 2019 was selected to the D2 Rocky Mountain All-Conference Team. while also being named MVP at UNC for multiple years.
Zachary was selected as the 34th pick by the Free Jacks in the 2021 MLR Collegiate Draft. Before joining the team, he attended the USA Rugby High-Performance Pathways camp in Glendale, Colorado. For nine weeks, Bastres trained with high-level athletes and played against other Academy and Representative Teams.
New England Free Jacks Comments
“I am extremely excited to get into this professional environment and help the Free Jacks win,” exclaimed Bastres when asked about the next chapter in his rugby career.
“We are excited to have Zach on board as a development player in the 2022 season,” commented Free Jacks Performance Director, Tom Kindley. “He impressed within the pathway program with his application and readiness to learn. That feedback combined with his acceleration and top-end speed has us excited to get Zach to a level where he’s competing in the MLR in the not too distant future.”
Bastres will be surrounded by a wealth of rugby expertise in the New England backline. As he looks to make his impact during this developmental year, there is no doubt Zachary will bring his drive and competitiveness to the Veterans Memorial pitch in the 2022 season.
You can catch #FreeJacks draftee, Zachary Bastres hiking, or doing some saltwater fishing when he isn’t out on the rugby pitch! He’s the son of a retired professional tennis player, and Zachary has also been hitting the court since he was young!
“Zachary went into the draft as a bit of an unknown, but not to us,” said Free Jacks Performance Manager, Tom Kindley. “After many conversations with USAR U23 Head Coach, Todd Thornley, and the likes of Chris Hanson from Colorado – we felt as though Zachary’s physical attributes and demeanor made him a great option. We are looking forward to seeing what will happen as more tools are added to Zachary’s rugby toolkit and we combine that with his speed and desire to succeed.
With his father being a professional tennis player in Chile and Brazil prior to moving to the US, his competitive nature runs in the family. New England sports also holds a special place in Zachary’s heart as he grew up watching the New England Patriots every Sunday with his Mother being raised in Massachusetts.