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Staley Wrestler Zach Elam is Hy-Vee A.O.W.

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Posted at 9:28 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 22:28:29-05

Zach Elam may be young, but he's ready to take his performance to the next level. Zach certainly did that in a big way this past Saturday. He won the Missouri Class 4 Wrestling State Championship in the 182 pound division, over the weekend. His performance earned him the Hy-vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week.

Needless to say, Zach was overjoyed to win the award.

"I was pretty excited about it. I've seen it on tv before," Elam said. "I've always wanted to be one of [41 Action News'] Athlete's of the Week. It coming so early in my high school career feels good."

Zach's championship victory over Dylan Komperda of Francis Howell was his 100th career victory. That also brought his record this year to 54-2. What's more impressive, Zach improved his runner-up performance in his Freshman year with a title, two weeks after winning the Class 4 District Championship and becoming a state qualifier.

Zach is achieving greater levels of success. But, he attributes his success to the support of his teammates and coaches.

"I love every single one of them. They're here everyday to help me get better and just improve. And, we always hang out. It's such good times. And, I mean, without them, I wouldn't be here where I am today. 

Staley Wrestling Coach Gary Mayabb has been with the team since the school first opened 8 years ago. Coach Mayabb has seen everyone come through the wrestling program's doors. However, he says Zach is one of the best. 

"For the student athletes we've had here at Staley, he's one of the finest," Coach Mayabb said. "He's winning. But, he quietly wins. He wins. He gets his hand raised. He runs off. I mean, that's what's supposed to happen. And, so he honors the sport. He honors our program by doing that. His actions are always very consistent."

Zach has begun to raise eyebrows in the collegiate level as well. He's received letters of interest from some top wrestling programs such as: Maryland, Brown, Old Dominion, Penn, Central Michigan and Northern Colorado.

People that know Zach say his potential is off the charts. 

"To come in at 170 [pound division] a year ago, wrestle kind of a man's weight as a Freshman, and then get second and really do a great job of that," said Coach Mayabb. "And now, at 182, another one of those weights where it's just loaded and he's just done a really great job with it. I think that it's just gonna grow from here."

Zach is certainly thankful for the leadership of his coach.

"Having somebody like Coach Mayabb and all the rest of the coaches, it's unbelievable experience. And, with all their knowledge that they have, and just to help me to continue my wrestling, the sport that I do, to continue to have success and what I love to do."

NOTE: The Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week segment airs every Thursday night during the 10 p.m. sportscast.