JACKSON TWP.  A lot of athletes would like to play two sports beyond the high school level. Some even attempt it, but few are able to do it and do it well.

Recently graduated Jackson High School multi-sport standout Zach Werstler will try to do just that beginning this fall when he swims and runs cross country at Gannon University. Werstler, a runner and swimmer at Jackson, signed his letter of intent with Gannon last month and was joined by his family and coaches in both sports for the event.

Cross country coach Kevin Walsh, who is also an assistant track coach, noted that Westler is an eight-time award winner at Jackson, having earned all-league and all-county honors in both sports, along with Academic All-Stark County and Academic All-Ohio honors for the past two cross country seasons.

“Thanks to an amazing work ethic, Zach has helped guide Jackson teams to numerous accomplishments including Federal League team titles in track, cross country and swimming,” Walsh said. 

The veteran coach noted that Eerstler helped the cross country team advance to the Division I state meet for the past three seasons, highlighted by a 10th-place his junior year. 

In track, he was part of the boys team winning its first league title since 2010 this spring and reached the regional meet. In the pool, he was part of the first class to win four league title for the boys swimming team and was a key player in the team’s 39-1 record the past four seasons. He set a new school record in the 100 backstroke and is ranked second in school history in the 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays.