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Leading the pack

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Student-athlete on top on, off the field

By Gene Sears

“Despite all his successes, this young man is the nicest, most considerate person you could hope to meet,” offered Fort Lupton Principal Alice Sueltenfuess.
    The target of her praise, FLHS Senior Zach Boyd, has that effect on people, most recently noticed during his selection of top 10 finalists in Wendy’s High School Heisman Award competition. Honoring the top high school scholars and athletes in the country, it's a coveted prize for student athletes as they finish their 12th year.

    Targeting the nation’s most esteemed high school seniors in partnership with the Heisman Memorial Trophy Committee, the awards target the best of the best, young men and woman who excel in learning, performing, and leading in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
    In that sense, Boyd is a perfect fit. A multi-award-winning athlete, student council member and mentor to his underclassmen as a member of the school’s Link Crew, Boyd has his hands full year-round. That’s exactly what the Wendy’s Heisman selection panel looks at and the reason Boyd landed in the top 10 in Colorado, out of more than 700 applicants. The selection is a multi-part process that examines all aspects of the student.
    “The award looks at your history, what you have done, awards, your school work, any work experience,” Boyd explained.
    Key to the application is an essay on a topic of the students choosing.
    “The essay I wrote discussed overcoming adversity,” Boyd said. “I talked about our DECA chapter this year. Mr. Smith, he has been out, and it has been a really unfortunate fall for us. Last year, we all went to state, there was about 50 of us. It was a really good experience. This year, we just fell off the face of the earth, so it was really a big downside for us.”
    Despite the challenges, DECA marches on with the support of Boyd and the rest of the team.
    “I’m still plugging away at DECA. We all are,” Boyd said. “We have all overcome adversity.”
    Boyd’s approach should serve him well for college, many of which are actively recruiting him and in his future endeavors as a mentor to the next generation.
    “I want to play college basketball or football, I’m still undecided where, and what I’m going to play,” Boyd explained. “But I will study business administration and elementary education. Eventually I want to be an athletic director. I want the sports side, and the kid’s side. That’s a good mix.”

Contact Staff Writer Gene Sears at gsears@metrowestnewspapers.com.