SODDY DAISY, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Soddy Daisy father is continuing his son’s legacy of caring for others through obstacle racing.
Zach Schafer died while training on the Cumberland trails two years ago. The young Soddy Daisy student competed as a JROTC Raider.
“Raiders is tough. So, it’s one of those things where it’s real easy to get down,” said Major Eric Redlin, Senior Army Instructor for JROTC at Soddy Daisy High School.
His teachers and classmates remember him as uplifting and motivational.
“He always had a kind word for – just pat people on the back and keep them going,” said Major Redlin.
Zach’s father wants to keep that legacy of his son going – with the Zach Schafer Memorial Scholarship.
Dedicated each year to a Soddy student with a penchant for just being kind.
“I just enjoy hearing over and over, two and a half years later I’m still hearing stories about how Zach impacted others, how he made them feel.” “He impacted a lot of people, and I’m very proud of that,” said Steve Schafer, Zach’s Dad.
Brooklin Hodges, a 2018 Soddy Daisy graduate, received the first scholarship. She remembers Zach’s impact on her and others.
“He had so much integrity, he was so brave and just so willing to always do what we asked him to, even if if you didn’t have to ask him directly. He really was just a light in the dark and when he was gone – I don’t know, everyone was just left so empty,” said Brooklin Hodges.
This is part of Soddy Daisy High School JROTC’s obstacle course. It will be used in the Zach Attack Race on March 21.
This March marks the first annual run. There is even an option for those that cannot attend.
“So the virtual race will take place in your hometown. You pick a 5K distance, run it, go over to a playground, do some monkey bars, we’ll also send you a list of some ideal obstacles that you could do and we’ll mail you the T-shirt and medal,” said race coordinator Julie Wolff.
Ultimately, the support of the community means the most to Zach’s dad.
“I appreciate the outpouring of love that I’ve felt since this has happened, people tell me they’re going to continue to pray for me and I take every one of them ’cause, losing Zach was obviously the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through,” said Mr. Schafer.