Zachery Hunter has been around baseball since he was barely 2 feet tall. A chance to play collegiate baseball brought him to Heidelberg. Finding a place that would help him become the best citizen possible kept him here.
“From the first moment I visited, it felt like home,” said Zach. This fall, he’ll have a new place to call home: The Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.
Enrolled in the Honors Program, Zach is completing his bachelor’s degree with major in philosophy in three years. He worked equally hard to make that happen as he did as a catcher for the Student Princes. It’s all about making the commitment.
“I’ve been really motivated and driven,” he said. “I wanted to give every effort in every aspect, and just being committed to academics and baseball to the greatest degree that I could.”
He had some help along the way, especially freshman year when the baseball coaching staff helped him – as they do with all first-year students – develop an academic game plan and learn time management skills. Upperclassmen helped, too, as did teammate Justin Liserio, who shares Zach’s same level of commitment. The two dedicated time regularly to study in the library following practice and games.
Zach is also appreciative of the bond he’s formed with his teammates. “I never felt the true brotherhood of a sports team until I came here,” he said. “I know I’ll have a relationship with my teammates for the rest of my life. Together, they learned time management and together, they navigated the ups and downs that adversity threw at them. “We found ways to overcome.”
Baseball and the Honors Program provided great opportunities to help others, similar to Zach’s personal philosophy to serve. For his Honors service learning project, he tutored students in K-12 at Tiffin’s Bridges Community Academy. In the community, Zach and his teammates helped with Y-Wives events and a canned food drive on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, among other service projects. He served as a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for a year.
“Coach (Chad) Fitzgerald really supports us helping in the community,” Zach said. “Baseball opened up a lot of things for us.”
Additionally, he believes the Honors Program “challenged me in ways that are going to help me in the future, especially with critical thinking.”
Come this fall, Zach will leave close-knit Heidelberg community behind to enter a profession he considers to be very noble. “It’s not just a one-man job. I really like that I’ll be standing for the principles of justice,” he said.
When he arrives at OSU, Zach will already have gotten his toes wet in the legal field. He was inspired initially by a high school pre-law class, which was taught by Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John Russo. For the past two summers, he’s interned with that court. “I spent time learning about the criminal side while I was there,” Zach said. This summer, he’ll be working for a title agency in Columbus “to see what kinds of applications a law degree could have on that side.”
With those experiences and the rigors of law school as a guide, Zach will decide which aspect of the law he will pursue as a career. He’s ready.
“When you first get to college, everyone warns you about how different it’s going to be, and it was. But from my time at Heidelberg, I feel so prepared to move on.”