Knox Central’s Zach Patterson is coming off an injury that earned him recognition as the most inspirational story at the Tripsy awards this year, but the upcoming senior is ready to move on and put together a memorable senior year.

“It was a tough thing to go through, but I’m glad they recognized it,” Patterson said. “I was honored.”

Patterson played through a serious leg fracture at the end of last season before being forced to sit out during the state tournament, but he was able to join his teammates this summer and is ready to step up and be a leader.

“I’m not even close to being back where I was, but I’m getting there,” he said. “The biggest part was just getting my legs back. You don’t realize how out of shape you are until you get out there.”

Patterson is the only starter returning from last year’s region championship team and says that his team will be playing with a chip on their shoulder.

“Hopefully we will win the region again,” he said. “Its wide open this year. We are going to play with a chip. Its not the worst thing to be underestimated. I think we’re going to prove a lot of people wrong this year.”

Patterson understands that he will be playing a new role on the team and admits he is looking forward to the challenge.

“It’s a different team because we lost four starters,” he said. “But these guys are easy to play with and they are great teammates. Instead of pushing I will be pulling the wagon. They are looking at me now. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think we should be fine.”

While trying to lead his team to another region title, Patterson hopes to earn a scholarship and reach his dream of playing at the next level.

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