This article was published in the March 9, 2017 edition of the Northwest Missourian as well as published on nwmissourinews.com
While the Northwest men’s basketball team has won four straight MIAA conference championships, one player has been through it all.
Senior forward Zach Schneider has been a part of all four MIAA title-winning teams. Along with the four regular season awards, Schneider has guided the Bearcats to two straight MIAA tournament championships, proving that he knows what it takes to be a champion.
“A combination of mental toughness, and talented players that are willing to make sacrifices for each other,” Schneider said, “Everyone in our league has lots of talent, we just focus on little things that win basketball games every day, and that has led to four straight MIAA titles.”
Along with the championships Schneider has helped bring to Maryville, the senior has set records in the process. Schneider is Northwest’s career leader in three-point field goal makes, with 262, and attempts, with 600. He set the single-season record with 101 three-point goals made in the 2014-15 season. Most recently, Schneider became the record holder for career three-point makes in the MIAA.
“My favorite record that I hold is probably the MIAA career record for three-pointers made,” Schneider said, “The MIAA is known as such a great league with a ton of talented players that have been around for a long time.”
Fellow senior forward D’Vante Mosby explains that his faith in Schneider’s long-range shot is unwavering.
“I have the utmost confidence in him,” Mosby said. “Zach, on our team, has the greenest light of anyone I’ve ever played with or against to shoot the three. We trust him and we like him shooting it. Zach does a great job of getting open, even when he has a defender standing right next to him and he does a great job at finding openings and getting his shot off. ”
This year, the Bearcats have won the conference tournament with an overall record of 29-1, but Schneider knows there are bigger things to come.
“Our goal is to continue to improve every day in practice and during every game,” Schneider said, “If we play like we know we are capable, we will have a great chance to win every game from here on out, which you could say is our ultimate goal.”
While striving for that goal, Schneider has not forgotten about his team. Sophomore Dray Starzl has learned from Schneider’s teaching and leadership.
“Zach helps me develop as a player by setting examples of how hard work pays off,” Starzl said. “Zach is influential by bringing energy and being the great leader he is, even if he isn’t playing well. His playing does not affect him because he’s more about the team than himself.”
While the year is not over yet, Schneider’s final year as a Bearcat nears an end. His plans after graduation still include basketball.
“My options after graduation are to possibly try and play overseas for a little bit if I can find a good fit, or to stick around and be an assistant on the team here to try and get into coaching,” Schneider said.