Arnold senior Zach Gunning is this week’s Student Athlete of the Week

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 9:37 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Zachary Gunning is a senior soccer player at Arnold who has a State ring and a spot on the honor roll and for Zach he wouldn’t have one without the other.

”It helps me focus, if I’m good in the classroom, I feel like I’m doing better on the field because I’m able to not worry about anything during school.” Zach told us.

“He’s an intelligent player, he has a high soccer IQ, as well when it comes to school.” says Arnold boys soccer head coach Jona Hammond.

With a 4.4 GPA, it’s not a surprise Zach has been such an integral part of the Marlins back to back state title runs.

“He’s got amazing ability with the ball.” says Hammond. “Speed. He can win balls in the air. He has a nose for the goal. He’s an all-around athlete, you could put him anywhere on the field, he’ll be successful. He puts in the work here at training and the classroom and it’s evident.”

That motivation to work hard has been something engrained in Zach since he was little.. And through middle and high school it’s made him who he is. “Well my parents have pretty high standard in the classroom, so I try to make them proud.” Gunning tells us.

“I just think it was the way he was brought up and raised,” says the coach “and you know his aspiration as far as going college and what he wants to do and become.”

And while Zach is still planning out his college goals, he’s got this season’s goals signed, sealed and delivered. “I want to win state obviously, get to at least double digit for goals depending on where I’m playing, get some assists.”

Zach is also looking to avenge last years State title game loss and can’t wait to get a kick out of his senior year

Newschannel7′s Student Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Walborsky, Bradley and Fleming.