To be determined, to desire, and to recognize one's own abilities is mandatory in success. But, to be content with your natural abilities can only get you so far. Challenging yourself physically and mentally is what distinguishes the great from the commonplace.
For a senior at Triton Regional High School, nothing can be further from the truth.
Zach Welch is a two-sport captain in football and wrestling. As an inside linebacker, he was the lone Triton football player to earn All-Cape Ann League honors, he was last December's Moynihan Lumber student-athlete of the month, and he was also a Daily News All-Star.
As for his current wrestling season, Welch is 26-3 at 160 pounds. The trio of defeats were all tough losses Welch remembers vividly, "I can't take anything away from those guys, but in retrospect, I should've won."
In addition to his domineering record, he placed first in the Marlboro Invitational for the second consecutive year.
His impressive athletic career aside, Welch has a 3.93 grade-point average, which ranks 21st in a class of 218, and his combined SAT score is 1340 (640 in math, 700 in verbal).
Welch's football and wrestling coach is Shawn McElligott, a friend and advisor since Welch was in the 7th grade.
"I've known Zach for six years. His sister Courtney was in one of my classes and she asked me if he could participate in some intramural wrestling," said McElligott. "I've had the pleasure of being a friend of the family for a while."
While some student athletes stroll through their high school careers, McElligott can attest to Welch's fortitude.
"Zach's success isn't like it just happened. He's worked for it all four years," states McElligott. "He's the hardest worker everyday, and he leads as an example everyday. I've coached plenty of talent, but his work ethic is right at the top. He's a consummate leader."
Trying his best at whatever he does is probably the one thing that comes naturally to Welch.
"Not to sound generic, but it stems from my parents," affirms Welch. "They taught me to try my hardest in every aspect. And coach Mac only reinforces that."
As far as motivation, whether it be on the mat, the field, or in Call of Duty 4, being on the losing side is as bad as it gets for Welch.