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MONROE — As a sophomore at Monroe High, Zach Young has already established himself as one of the top athletes in 2A.

As a freshman, Young placed fourth in the state in the 800 meters, fifth in the javelin and sixth in the long jump.

Last fall, Young was selected as the 2A offensive player of the year after helping the Dragons to the state football title as a running back and receiver.

Young currently leads the Monroe boys basketball team in scoring with 21.6 points a game as a point guard and also leads the team in steals.

Young has the ability to score from the perimeter or by taking the ball to the basket either on drives or breakaways after a turnover.

"It depends on what the defense is giving me. If they're going to give me space out on the perimeter, I'll take those shots," Young said. "But if I feel like I have the opportunity to get past my man and get to the rack, then that's what I'll do."

While Young's ballhandling skills and speed are suited to point guard, there is much more to the position.

Top point guards are able to run the team like a quarterback in football, distributing the ball to teammates in scoring position and keeping the offense well oiled.

He is still in the process of learning the position and the coaches have focused on helping him with his decision making on the court.

"Zach is not a natural point guard. Zach is a shooting guard," Monroe coach Chard Goracke said. "From a coaching standpoint I'd like to see him develop point guard qualities and that's what we're working on.

"His strong suit is the scoring could go through him and the true point guards, they're not the true scorers and Zach is just a phenomenal scorer. That's the difficulty when you've taken a guy who's a great ballhandler, great scorer, great athlete and you try to get him to play with control and decision making. I say it all the time, It's like trying to get a (NASCAR car) to idle, it just doesn't want to do it."

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Young said he likes to score but also enjoys setting up his teammates for baskets.

"It's definitely something I've been working on, trying to have good court vision and be able to set up my teammates coming off cuts and just look for the open man because when I get doubled coming off screens, just looking for someone else to score the basketball," he said.

It's a tough situation in a way, because the Dragons often need him to score.

Monroe went 0-24 before Young and Brian Goracke arrived as freshmen last year. The Dragons proceeded to win 12 games that season and enter the week 13-4 overall, 6-0 in the Mountain View Conference and have won 12 of 13.

They recently dismantled an Oakland team which came in a 12-2 and 4-0 in Mountain View Conference. Monroe won 81-55.

"We're a young squad but we're starting to hit our stride and it feels good," Young said. "All our young talent is coming together and we have a goal in the back of our mind and that's to get to Pendleton and we haven't done that in a long time as a program, so that's the goal and we're trying to get there."

Young has little time for hobbies or other interests outside of school and sports, though he does allow for hanging out with friends and family.

He started competing in track to stay in shape but soon found that he enjoyed the sport.

Although he plays a lot of basketball throughout the year, Young said his favorite of the three is football.

"He's a phenomenal football player," Chad Goracke said. "He probably has a better chance to get a football scholarship than he does a basketball scholarship, just because of his size. But there's probably Division III and possibly Division II schools that would take a point guard like Zach if he could develop those point guard qualities."

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