Futball and Football have both been a part of life at Mount Union for senior and Medina, Ohio, native Zach Hlas, who has been named the Ohio Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Month for June.
As far as "futball" or soccer goes, Hlas capped off a four-year career for the Purple Raiders becoming the first student-athlete in school history to win OAC Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2019.
In 2019, he was the OAC Defensive Player of the Week five times and was also an All-OAC first team selection, an Ohio Soccer Coaches Association first team pick and three-time Academic All-OAC honoree.
He posted a school-record 23 career shutouts, helped lead the team to three-straight non losing seasons for the first time in 22 seasons and matched the school single-season record for wins in a season in 2018.
"I will never forget the experiences and memories that I had with the team and my teammates," stated Hlas. "It was very rewarding to have success that no one thought we would and break a few records along the way and my teammates made showing up for practice fun every day."
Everyone knows that Football is a big part of the campus at Mount Union and Hlas like many fellow students are fans of the successful program, he also got to work with the pigskin in the classroom as part of the Mount Union robotic football team within the school's Department of Engineering.
Hlas, who graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering major with a 3.59 grade point average, along with other students constructed robots that throw, catch, tackle and run the football and then pitted them against robots from other schools. Over the years, Mount Union has competed in robotic football competitions against the likes of The University of Notre Dame, The US Naval Academy and Purdue University among others.
"It was an extremely cool experience to go through the process of designing and constructing the robots and then seeing them passing, catching, and colliding with other robots," said Hlas. "It was a much different pace and strategy for me, but overall it was a great experience."
When asked if there were any similarities between his futball and football experiences on campus, Hlas says "The best part of both was being able to be part of team with teammates you enjoy being around and working to accomplish something and then being able to do compete while having some fun."
"Mount Union had the right combination of academics and athletics for me," commented Hlas. "Both Dr. Chad Korach and coach Carter Poe were both great mentors that put students and athletes first and instilled a tremendous work ethic and team first attitude in me."
His experiences both on and off the field at Mount Union have led him to starting a job as a mechanical engineer at Lincoln Electric in Cleveland. The Medina, Ohio, native hopes to become an aerospace engineer one day.
"I had a great experience at Mount Union and can't thank my teammates, professors, coaches and everyone at the school for what they have done for me."
By Lenny Reich, Mount Union sports information director