Winters keeps Riverdale college pipeline on track

By Anthony Rhoads

In the past several years, Riverdale High School has been pipeline for track athletes who want to compete at the collegiate level.

On Monday, Zach Winters became the latest Riverdale Raider to get the chance to go to the next level as he signed a track scholarship to Alabama State, a Southwest Athletic Conference school in Montgomery. Winters is the 22nd Riverdale athlete since 1997 to sign a track scholarship, former Riverdale track coach Lonnie White said. White also coached Winters at Riverdale Middle School and was his high school coach until this year.

"I'm proud of him," White said. "I think he's going to do very well. I feel like what we're doing is beyond athletics. What we're trying to do is to teach them to be responsible and disciplined in whatever they do. I'm a year out of coaching and (current Riverdale head) coach (Adam) Phyall is continuing that."

Phyall said that Winters not only brought talent to the Riverdale track team but leadership as well.

"I think Alabama State really got a good one," Phyall said. "Zach has been like a captain and a coach on the track team. I'm going to miss having him on the team."

Winters first began running track in middle school and also was involved in football and basketball. Winters began to excel in track and decided that was going to be the path he would follow.

"I feel really good," Winters said. "It's like a dream come true."

Winters competed in the 100-meter dash, 200-meter dash, the 400-meter and 1,600-meter relays and the high jump.

Winters plans on majoring in criminal justice at Alabama State.