Boys volleyball is a big deal at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High School in Northeast Miami-Dade County. The Lightning are district champs, and team is playing South Broward High School Friday night for the regional championship.
So being the team captain is a big job, with a lot of responsibility to his teammates, and Zachary Winer wears the title with pride.
"They always know they can come to me and they can ask me for any advice they have, whether it's on the court pertaining to volleyball or not," Zachary said. "Although it's a label, it's something that means a lot to me and the rest of the players."
It's one thing to be successful on the court. How about helping underprivileged kids to be successful in school? Zach does both.
"Community service has been part of my passions since I was a little kid, in elementary school I was part of K-Kids, and I started doing and learning about community service and giving back to my community and I decided to continue doing that throughout my life," Zach explained.
Zach is president of the Key Club at his school, he's on the advisory board of Achieve Miami, and he's spent hundreds of after school and weekend hours teaching reading to underperforming, elementary school kids.
"It just gives them a path for success and it also gives them someone to look forward to seeing on the weekends and a real friend and a real big buddy," Zach said. "It makes me feel amazing, I mean coming in, knowing that my little buddy knows my name, we have a connection, we talk about our favorite sports, our favorite movies, what we did last week, what we did over the holiday break, it means a lot deep down."
In a school full of academic achievers, Zach is a one of the top students in the senior class. His classmates and teachers can tell you about the Zach Effect.
"In class, he always raises his hand to ask questions, offers anyone help if they need help, like in a lesson, different classes, on the court you always hear him cheering on his teammates," said Jenna Shein, one of Zach's classmates.
"Zach leads by example in every aspect of his life," added Tyler Ward, a life-long friend. "Whether it be in sports, whether it be in the classroom, whether it be just hanging out with friends, he's always the leader, always making sure that others are happy and doing things right."
Zach is his school's Silver Knight nominee for athletics. Teachers know him as a "triple threat," a student who excels in academics, athletics, and activities.
"He has so much on his plate, but he does it all with a smile, does it all with a positive attitude, and he doesn't seem to get stressed!" marveled Michelle Russell, the school's activities director. "He manages to do everything and do everything well."
Zach will be a freshman at the University of Miami in August, where he intends to study health sciences, and eventually Zach wants to be a dentist, giving back by providing care to the needy.
Meanwhile, Zach says he hopes he's leaving a legacy of service at his high school.
"I keep promoting all the organizations that I'm a part of so that other people have the same opportunities to better themselves and also to better the communities around them," Zach said.