Favorite athlete: Kobe Bryant
Favorite team: Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite memory competing in sports: All the times I have won and then gotten to hug my family afterwards.
Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: Wrestling room basketball and the intensity it comes with
Music on Playlist: Good mix of 90s hip-hop, alternative hip-hop, and trap
Future plans: I will be attending Williams College where I plan to obtain a bachelor’s degree while continuing to wrestle at a high level.
Words to live by: “Be the best you”
One goal before turning 30: To have a solid career that I will enjoy for the rest of my life.
One thing people don’t know about me: I occasionally indulge in yoga.
By GORDON GLANTZ
Zach Borzio’s vital statistics tell a lot about his career as a high school wrestler.
A two-time district champion and state qualifier, his won-loss record of 128-46 (with 77 pins) that places him fourth on the all-time list at Quakertown.
But that doesn’t mean the road was just a straight line of success.
“Definitely not,” he explained. “I’ve had many ups and downs in this sport.”
For starters, he says he was not a natural.
Borzio gave up lacrosse after middle school and football after his freshman year to concentrate on wrestling.
“It definitely started to click more for me in high school,” he said. “I saw my success and the opportunity to get better, so I committed myself to that.”
While he worked to get himself into better physical shape, moving from the 106-pound weight class as a freshman to 152 as a senior, Borzio found that his toughest opponent was often himself.
“It’s been quite the journey,” he said. “Toward the beginning of my career, I would overly focus. I would look at my opponents and overanalyze things. Then, I realized that’s not what it’s about. It’s me going out and doing the best that I can do.
“There are mental battles that I’ve had to overcome. Inspiring words that I would say to anyone else would be ‘try to be the best version of yourself.’ That’s something I try to put in my mind when I’m not having the best of days. I just try to flip it. I do whatever I can to make it better.”
After falling a win shy of qualifying for states as a junior, Borzio was determined to get back there as a senior, and he did.
He had 40 wins this past year, including one at states.
“I’ve only had a handful of those in my 25, 26 years of coaching,” said Quakertown coach Kurt Handel.
Added Borzio: “This year, I completely let everything go. I just let it fly. That is what I put a lot of my success toward.”
A big reason why Borzio could focus on his senior year was that his college decision was behind him before the season began.
He will be wrestling next at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.
Although it is a Division III program, Williams defeated a Division I opponent this past season.
An excellent student, he will go in undecided with a concentration in economics and statistics.
“I went through the recruiting process, starting the summer of my sophomore year and then into my junior year,” said Borzio, who has bulked up to 170 pounds and hopes to compete at 174 for Williams. “I made the decision about a month before the season.
“I was really up in the air, whether I wanted to do it. I knew I could get into plenty of schools with just my grades. Then, when I found Williams, I knew it was the place for me. It was just the spot for me. I knew it right away. I was at a couple schools before that. I just got the right feeling when I was at Williams.”
In his DNA
At Kingsway (N.J.) High School, the Borzio name is synonymous with wrestling success.
His dad, Matt, used his stellar career there as a springboard to Bucknell. His uncle, Angelo, went on to star at East Stroudsburg when it had a Division I program and was an Olympic hopeful.
The oldest of three boys, Zach was on the mat early at QYC (Quakertown Youth Club).
“My dad is the one who got me into it at a young age,” he said. “I started in kindergarten.”
By the time he was able to walk into the entrance of Quakertown High, Handel was aware of him.
“We knew he had skills coming into the high school program,” said Handel. “He had 30 wins in his freshman year. He was 30-18. If you get 30 wins, you are doing something.”
Borzio followed that up with a stellar sophomore season by making states with a record of 27-3 (less matches because of COVID).
He went 35-17 as a junior and then geared up for his memorable senior season.
At 6-2, Borzio has a style that frustrates opponents.
“I think my style is a bit unique,” he said. “I’m not sure how to put it into everyday words. I’m fairly tall for the kids I wrestle against. I’m 6-2. I try to use my length to my advantage. Some people do not like wrestling against my length.”
Added Handel: “He is super tough in the top position. He is really tall and lanky. He puts those real long legs on you and a lot of people have a real hard time getting out from the bottom when he is on top.”
Winning off the Mat
Borzio’s non-wrestling accomplishments are just as impressive.
Ranked 26th in his class of 435, he never got less than an A and had a weighted GPA of 4.23 after his junior year.
He also won Student of the Month at least once each year.
“All of the above,” said Handel of the criteria. “It’s about character. It’s about integrity. It’s about responsibility and it’s about the academics.”
Borzio is involved in National Honor Society, Best Buddies and Student Council.
“I try to give back to my community as much as possible,” he said. “I do a lot of community service.”
Considering the amount of training he put in, one would wonder where he finds the time.
“That’s a great question,” he said. “I have definitely learned time management very well. I put it toward hard work, my being able to balance everything.”
The End Game
Borzio credits a lot of his success to tournaments out of the area in the spring, and thanks his coaches for making sure he “made his bones” doing so.
He also owes debts of gratitude to his immediate family, extended family and friends and teammates.
The middle son of Matt and Stephanie, Mason, plays lacrosse and football. However, the youngest, Cole, is also a standout middle school wrestler.
While Handel will be awaiting Cole’s arrival, Zach Borzio will be hard to forget.
“It’s been a pleasure for four years, coaching this young man,” he said. “He came here as a freshman and was about 5-8 and 106 pounds. He had an incredible freshman year, then he wrestles at 152 as a senior.
“The kids call him Mr. Reliable. They always turn to Zach. He’s the voice of reason. He’s a very intelligent and well-grounded young man. His personality - he shows up every day and says, ‘How are you doing, coach?’ He’s just a great kid to talk to.
“He is a very down to earth young man with some great values. Mom and dad raised a great kid here. I’m going to miss him.”