By Sidney Reynolds
Before a big race junior Zach Doebbler always puts his headphones on and cranks his favorite metal music on high so he can focus for the big race ahead of him. He began running at a young age and decided to embrace it, and like so many of his teammates he got a start through his parents.
“I actually got into cross country when I was six. My dad had coached for 23 years at a school in Arizona, and he had taken me under his wing to run with him. New to the whole running aspect, I quickly picked it up and carried it with me up to this point,” said Doebbler.
Now he is in his third year on the varsity cross country team. “Zach is an extremely strong competitor. He wants to win every time he goes out and runs,” said junior teammate Grant Reynolds.His father,William Doebbler, who originally inspired him said, “I am extremely proud of him. He has worked very hard to get where he is at.”
Doing practices that are usually an hour and 30 minutes long everyday including weekends, he has definitely earned it.
“At least twice a week we [the varsity team] will have intense runs to train our speed and one long run typically ranging from 12-17 miles,” said Doebbler.
Doebbler plans to attend a Division One school and to run both track and cross country, which is why he is taking honors Algebra II, AP Composition, AP Psychology, and advanced classes in web design. “He treats school like running; he works hard, and does good in school as well,” said Reynolds.
To make his college dream come true he has to plan his schedule very carefully to make sure he has enough time for practice and to get his homework done.
“I try to have a good balance between my heavy course load and demanding schedule by completing my homework in school and getting as much help as possible from my teachers. For me, life is about picking and choosing,” said Doebbler, “and sometimes I have to cut down on other extracurricular activities and time with friends in order to meet my team’s demands.”
He also has his friends to help whenever he needs it. “Zach is a hard worker and it helps push the rest of the team to try and stay up with him,” said junior teammate Reese Tarr.
“He is always encouraging the junior varsity guys at races,” said sophomore Brett Yeaton.
“He’s a great friend. Everything that comes out of his mouth makes me laugh.” said Reynolds. Fitting in school, family, and sports can be very challenging but he manages.
“Most of my time is spent with my team overall, and most of my team has become a part of my social life,” said Doebbler. “All of my teammates encourage healthy behavior, even to the extent of getting good sleep and eating right. Our team is very much so like a family; we are very tight-knit.”
With all his friends and family out there to motivate him, he is a student-athlete that has a future in track as well as in academics.
“The only thing I have to say is watch out everyone, I’m going for all-state,” said Doebbler.