Every year, the Stapes running programs see its share of talent. This year, one of those key members was Sam Zorfas, a three-season captain before graduating in June, played a big role for the Wreckers all year long.

Coming into Staples, Zorfas was new to the Westport school system and felt that joining the cross country team would be a good way for him to socialize. He said, "In the end, this program has given me my best friends, and I'm happy I stuck with it." He then went on to join both the indoor and outdoor teams as well.

Over his four years in the program, Zorfas has seen significant improvement in his running abilities. His times have improved drastically. He said "I remember freshman year Cross-Country, I ran a 6:04 mile. My personal best today is 4:33. My 800 time freshman year outdoor was 2:21. My personal best today is 2:02. My 5K time went from over 21 minutes sophomore year to 17:10 senior year. If someone told me that this was going to happen freshman year, I wouldn't of believed it. But it goes to show that as long as you are willing to put the work it, you'll see the results. "

Coach Laddie Lawrence added, "Zorfas had a great four years. This year he really blossomed and had great times in every season. I'm very pleased he's been so successful."

Zorfas credits his success and growth to Lawrence and said, "Laddie taught me about a strong work ethic. He's taught me to be a better person, and that if you want to earn something you have to go out there and get it. The only to make it happen is to make it happen yourself. Laddie always tells us that you get what you give. He believes in poetic justice. He might be at school as a track coach, but he gives life lessons that will effect me throughout my future."

His senior year, Zorfas was elected captain of all three seasons. Lawrence says that he is a great "role model" because of his work ethic and dedication to the program.

Zorfas calls being a captain a "humbling experience" and felt honored that his teammates trusted and respected him enough to lead the team for three seasons. He said aspired to, "be a senior that the younger guys would look up to. Laddie and my teammates expect me to work hard and have a positive attitude. "

Zorfas was a clear contributor all three seasons. However, he believes that the indoor and outdoor seasons were his strongest.

He said, "I was a solid cross-country runner, but I felt that I could be used more in track. I ran anything from the 800 to the 2-mile, depending on the meet. I ran my best races in those seasons, and I felt that's when I contributed most to the team's success."

Lawrence agrees noting that Zorfas was a "versatile runner that could be used in anything from the 800-1,600."

All of Zorfas' hard work has paid off, as he has received FCIAC honors five times. As a junior he was Second Team All-FCIAC during the indoor and outdoor seasons. He was Second Team All-FCIAC his senior year in cross country, First Team All-FCIAC in indoor track, and Honorable Mention in outdoor track.

In addition to being a great athlete, Zorfas is also a bright student. All his hard work in the classroom brought him to scholar athlete award for cross country. Lawrence said, "Every year I have a very difficult decision to make. So many kids on the team are great athletes and top scholars. Zorfas had the highest GPA of all of them and was also a key runner. He was very deserving of this award."

In the fall, he will be studying in Greece and in the winter will be at Northeastern University, majoring in political science. Zorfas is unsure as to whether he will run in college. He says, "Northeastern is a five-year school so I could take my freshman year off and still run for four more years. I've been staying in shape, and if I don't run in college, I'll definitely do road races and hopefully one day a marathon."

Zorfas looks back on his four years fondly, saying that "There will be nothing like the Staples track program and I will miss being apart of it."

The program will surely miss his leadership, dedication and talent as well.