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Senior Zach Haynes placed first in both the Triple Jump and Long Jump yesterday at the TAPPS District track meet.

Led by senior Zachary Haynes, who took 1st place in both Long Jump and Triple Jump, the Falcons Men’s Track team had an impressive District Track meet held at Liberty Christian in Argyle on April 16, propelling them to the Regionals next weekend. Other winners included:

Jared Moser-1st in 1600

Kwatavious “KT” Jones placed 3rd in 100 and 200

Travis Cook- 3rd in triple jump

Darrion Daniels -2nd in shot and discus

Christian Cuellar-3rd in high jump

Dailen Sutton-2nd 300hurdles

Micah Simon-4th 300 hurdles

Kevin Kalu-3rd in 400

Josh Benavides - 4th in 3200

Alex Flores - 6th in 3200

Dorian Walton - 6th in 200

4x100 - 4th (Nick Watkins, Payton Hendrix, Josh Drayden, KT Jones)

4x400 -3rd (Nick Watkins,Kevin Kalu, Sutton, Micah Simon)

4x200 -2nd (Nick Watkins, Frank Tull, Micah Simon, Payton Hendrix)

Girls 5th overall

Rakel Barrientos -1st in 3200, 2nd in 1600

Mackenzie Frank -1st 100h, 300h, high jump

Destini Henderson -2nd in 100, 4th in 200

Cassie Garner-5th in 200

Danielle Jackson- 6th in 800

Ayaunee Williams-4th in 100h and 300h

4x1-5th (Cassie Garner,Manon Williams, Destiny Henderson, Sarah Massey)

4x4 -5th (Alesia Johnson, Makenzie Frank , Danielle Jackson, Sarah Massey)

Head Track Coach Isaac Bell was proud of the results and looks forward to his team doing well in the Regional Competition next weekend. The team travels back to Argyle to compete on Friday and Saturday then to Waco for the State meet the following weekend, May 2-3.

Zachary Haynes wants to lift people up.

As a senior on the football team this year, he knows he wasn’t the all-district players that his friends Nick Watkins and Jovan Pruitt were, but he looks forward to helping them succeed in their future goals.   

“I want to be a sports rep or a stadium manager and take care of my friends,” Zach said. “As a business man, I’d like to keep my friends safe. I mean, Nick, Lasani and Jovan are all headed places. What better way for them to be represented than by a friend who truly cares about them?”

A tri-athlete, Zach played safety on the football team, “every position” on the basketball team and excels in track. Last year he came in second at state in both the triple jump and long jump. “I lost to the same guy in both events,” he says matter-of-factly. “But he’s good competition. He makes me practice hard and try my best in meets. I’ll see him again this year.”

And that’s the way Zach sums up his life: work hard, try your best – and look forward to the next challenge with a positive attitude.

His attitude made the senior retreat more hopeful, when one night of sharing brought many to tears. Silence ensued when no one knew what to say. Out of the blue, Zach stood up and declared, “I think it’s time to pray. Let me just pray for you." And pray he did, helping hearts heal.

His ability to stand up in a tense moment and lead his peers in a heartfelt prayer came straight from God, he says. “I just felt God speaking through me, and so I said what I said.”

But he also decided during senior retreat, while out on the dock by himself, it was time to join the church he’d been attending for years, Concord. “I realized I’m about to leave my home and my mom, and how am I going to make it without her to guide and support me? I’ll need God more than ever,” he said. He walked down to join the others at an altar call on Sunday a few weeks ago, and is more focused than ever on where God might be leading him.

He’s been accepted by Hampton College, George Mason, St. John’s, North Carolina A&T and Howard in D.C., but his desire is to go to Howard. “After I visited there, it felt right. It’s the number one ranked HBCU, Historically Black College or University, and I’m ready to go there to become an upstanding young man who can really make a difference in the community and the world,” he explained.

Zach works hard in his classes to make his GPA appealing to the colleges he’s been accepted to, hoping for a scholarship to take the pressure off his single mother, the assistant registrar at UT Southwestern. His hardest class this year is calculus with Mr. Braun, but said, “I love his class, the man is hilarious. I can see why he was Notre Dame’s mascot, the leprechaun – he’s always moving, always cheering us on in class – it fits his personality.”

His favorite class is AP Government with Mr. Clifford, “who also makes class fun. I love every teacher at this school, but those two make me laugh while I’m learning.” Like his favorite teachers, he hopes to marry one day and, like Mr. Clifford, “have as many children as the Lord gives me. Mr. Clifford is always cracking us up with stories about his life and his kids,” Zach said.

Laughter is what attracts Zach’s entourage – a group of friends he’s added to each year. He explained, “I saw that show 'Entourage' once and thought that’s what I have: a group of friends to hang with here at school and after school. But we push each other to do better, to try harder, to be better.” Last year when one of his group graduated, he was quietly replaced with a transfer student, Jamari Selders, a friend Zach’s known for years, since they both attended “Top Teens” as kids. “He’s a great guy, always encouraging me to do better,” Zach said.

Doing better is how Zachary might describe his senior year: he’s committed to trying to break a state record in the long and high jump this track season, and practices every day after school toward that goal. A track scholarship to Howard would be a dream come true.

In the meantime, he continues his commitment to the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Club and FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) Club, led by Dean of Students Walter Johnson. “Coach Johnson graduated with my mother from Bishop Dunne in ’81, and I think of him like my father on campus,” Zach said. Mr. Johnson is also a pastor. When told his impromptu prayer at the senior retreat sounded a lot like his on-campus mentor, Zach is gracious: “I know that Coach Johnson can sing and pray awesomely, and being compared to him is a true honor.” Rachel Southward was a senior retreat leader and said of Zach, “he always helps out, even when he’s not asked to. He has real leadership qualities.”

Those qualities got Zach an invitation be a part of “Top Teens of America,” a group of students who meet every other Sunday afternoon to learn how to be a Christian Leader. That includes a lot of community service, including working at the North Texas Food Bank. Zach’s favorite T-shirt says “I (love) NTFB” but “instead of a heart for ‘love,’ there’s an apple there, so it sort of confuses people. It’s a real conversation starter,” laughs Zach. He’s been a member of the Top Teens group since the 8th grade, after being asked to escort a friend to a dance held by the group the year before in 7th grade.

He was also invited to be a part of the National Youth Leadership Conference back in his freshman year, when he got to travel to Washington, D.C. and meet a lot of legislators and see the different monuments. “Someone here on campus recommended me for that trip – it’s still a mystery who - and I’m so thankful,” Zach said. “It was a real honor.” He also went on a “People to People” trip to England, France, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium the summer after his sophomore year. “That was a fun trip!” Zach exclaimed. “To travel to all those countries with people I didn’t know really taught me a lot – how to communicate with others, be flexible, be ready for anything.”

Ready for anything in his future, Zach plans to make it one that will have him helping others.

“My grandmother, Dr. Barbara Cambridge, just retired,” he said proudly, explaining that Barbara Cambridge worked as a professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas. Zach added, “I’d like to have a career like she did, helping people.”

And lifting them up, in prayer.

“I will lift You up, O Lord, for You have lifted me up. Sing praise to the Lord, all you who belong to Him. Give thanks to His holy name. His favor is for life…and joy comes with a new day.” Psalm 30:1,4-5.

Article provided by Judy Porter.