NY, 2011- Perseverance is one characteristic that has separated the simply special from the absolutely magnificent athletes throughout history. Steven Thomas Zacharczyk, starting forward for SUNY Plattsburgh, recently learned that he had what it took to overcome any and all obstacles entering his junior year.
Steven Zacharczyk was born and raised in Highland Mills, NY. His twin brother, David Zacharczyk (former SUNY Cortland defender) , and him stand at roughly 6 feet 2 inches. Steven’s weight is listed at about 200 lbs. but, he is on the fast track to pack on a few more pounds for more of an immoveable presence on the pitch. With size like that, it is difficult to see why Zacharczyk chose soccer over a more profitable sport such as basketball or football—Zacharczyk can perform a throw-in over 20 yards out . “I chose soccer because it is a unique sport: I enjoy [the mixture of pace and patience] it requires to play and the talent to play as well as the talent you need to understand why you play [certain ways],” says Zacharczyk. They say soccer is a game of capitalizing; meaning, you must wait for the opponent to make a mistake and use that to your advantage. As a forward, Zacharczyk believes that he is definitely in a position where he makes the most mistakes but, is the quickest to counter act them in order to make himself better on the fly. “I’ve always been a forward,” says Steven, “born to be one I guess [hahah] there is no other position where I’d rather be than giving my all on every play and leading the team on the attack.”
I was able to get a live video chat session done with Zacharczyk after the Plattsburgh Cardinals big win over the MCLA Trailblazers and Steven’s game winning goal.
September 3rd, 2011 was the Cardinal Classic Championship. In the first place match, Zacharczyk was able to notch the victory for the Cardinals at their own invitational in the 119 minute with a swift header with enough force to send it buzzing just past the keepers’ reach. When I asked Steven what he first felt would come of his game winning goal, he had this to say:
“All the pressure coming into this season [after sitting out a full year] was suddenly lifted. I felt as if, after scoring the game winning goal, nothing is going to stop me from progressing [this year].”
Zacharczyk, age 20, is currently a junior at SUNY Plattsburgh majoring in Accounting was forced to take a leave of absence during his sophomore year. Steven had a tumor removed in early 2011. The doctors caught on to it early enough to expel the problem before it spread.
“My biggest accomplishment in [10 plus] years of playing soccer is continuing to [strive for success] after my surgery,” he told me, “it was just another step in life that I had to learn from. I am moving forward every day, it reminds me to give my all at every chance I get because it’s true that you really never know when everything can be stripped away. Out of all the clubs and teams I’ve played for, this is my home. I see the same faces every single day; these men are my brothers.”
When I asked Steven if he had any big plans in store after college he said that he would like to relax and enjoy a fall or two in New York for once, without being bogged down with work or training but, as far as his collegiate careers goes: “…More goals, a handful of assists, and wins for my Plattsburgh family. Back to back SUNYAC (State University of New York Athletic Conference) champs this time around.”
Steven Zacharczyk is just one example proving that the will to succeed is often times far more valued and rewarding than the ability alone to do so. Perseverance runs thick in Plattsburgh.