BRADENTON, Fla. -- This week's ABC 7 Athlete of the Week was part of the St. Stephen's tennis team that went to the state finals last year, and he led them back there this year.
Zach Bessette has been playing varsity tennis for St. Stephen's since he was in 8th grade, and this year he is the elder statesman on a team that went to the state tournament – again.
“I've said about Zach, he will run through a brick wall for a tennis ball. We had a strong team last year when he played #3. He is back to #1 this year. I saw him win matches when he was in 8th grade beating high school seniors, and I wondered how he did it. It is because he plays every point really, really hard," says head tennis coach James Flanigan.
Bessette was the #1 player on varsity before he was in high school. He moved down in the lineup for the good of the team, and that led to a great year for the team. This year, he took charge and the results were the same. “It’s good to have that pressure, but still, it is pressure. It’s nice to be able to perform well, and live up to people's expectations," says Bessette.
His GPA is off the charts, and he is hoping to attend Stanford for college after he graduates next year. “I haven't really narrowed down a list yet. I would like to go to Stanford if I can, but that is a pretty tall order."
"For a young team to see someone who steps up like that with leadership, it’s only going to improve the program and keep us moving forward in a positive direction," says Flanigan.
Congratulations to Zach Bessette of St. Stephen's Episcopal School. He is our ABC 7 Athlete of the Week.