Benton, MO high school football player recognized for high character

Benton, MO high school football player recognized for high character

BENTON, MO (KFVS) - Football season is over, but the legacy one Kelly High School senior left will live on.

Zach Hahs is being recognized for his strong character through a national award and on the silver screen.

His coach, Lance Powers, said he's the kind of student who's a leader in everything he does.

Even though Zach had to lead the football team from the sidelines this season, he said he knew his purpose and wouldn't let anything stand in his way.

A founding member of the Kelly High School football team, Zach is the ultimate team member.

"We just grew up together and playing, having them on the team, I mean we are a brotherhood. I wouldn't let any of them down," Zach said.

Even when an injury put him on the bench, a week before the season opener, Zach stood by his word.

"He was our best leader up until that point, he was our best leader after that point. He was the kid on the practice field who was encouraging kids all the time to work hard and get better," Coach Powers said.

"Knowing that I couldn't play, I still wanted to make our team the best it could be," Zach said.

That's why Coach Powers and the rest of the coaching staff nominated Zach for the Brandon Burlsworth Award, a national honor given to players with high character.

"It was Zach. If this award was meant to go to someone from this school, from that football field, it was Zach Hahs," Coach Powers said.

However, Zach's recognition doesn't end with the award. Zach will be recognized in a new movie called "Greater." It's based on the true story of Brandon Burlsworth, the Arkansas player with outstanding perseverance, faith and character. He's the man after whom Zach's award was named.

"It was really one of the coolest things that I've received ever," Zach said.

Even though Brandon never knew Zach, chances are, he'd be proud of senior guard number 56, who never let anything get in the way of his character.

"If we had a team of Zach Hahs' it would make our coaching staff, our life, a lot easier, I'll tell you that," Coach Powers said.

The movie comes out on January 22. Look for Zach's name and Kelly High School at the end of the movie, listed in the credits.

Like Brandon Burlsworth, Zach said his faith helped him get through those tough times and helped him be there for his team, regardless of his injury.

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