A Family Connection: No Bat, No Ball
JEFFERSON CITY - Zach Rockers is a familiar face at Helias High School as an athlete on the field, on the court and at the plate.
Rockers, a senior, played on Helias' varsity basketball team and as quarterback for the football team. He currently plays as the baseball team's starting shortstop.
"Helias has always been a part of my family, ever since I can remember," Rockers said.
As a three-sport athlete, Rockers finds himself in the spotlight often.
"It's nice to be recognized, but at the same time, it also comes with responsibility," he said.
But no matter how popular he is, it's not his reputation that precedes him.
It's his family.
Rockers hails from a family rooted in Helias High School including uncle Chris Hentges, former Helias football coach, uncle Chris Wyrick, current Helias baseball coach and grandfather Ray Hentges who coached Helias football for 33 years.
Let's not forget about Rockers' mother—a secretary at the school.
"I think that probably put a little bit of extra pressure on him, yes," grandfather Ray Hentges said.
Yet Rockers stays grounded thanks to an old friend.
Despite the family ties, he finds inspiration elsewhere. Not on the fields, but at St. Martins Cemetary where Rockers' other grandfather, Clarence Rockers, rests.
"He meant everything to me. He was my best friend in life," Zach Rockers said.
Clarence Rockers was not just a friend, but his biggest supporter.
"He wasn't a huge sports fan, but he loved reading about me in the paper. He would listen to every game on the radio. I would always preset the radio for him," Zach Rockers said.
It is Rockers' grandfather that inspires the Helias standout's performance.
"He loved me for everything I did on the field, he loved my success and me doing well. But most importantly, he loved me for the person that I was," Zach Rockers said.