Working A Double Shift

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By WSIL Sports

CARBONDALE -- While most kids are eating lunch, Zach Doan is leaving school for the day. But the real work is just beginning.

Zach is enrolled in an on-the-job training class at Carbondale High School. It gives him the chance to make money working a part-time job, while earning class credit. Every day, Zach trades class work for a two-hour shift at Wendy's.

"Sometimes it's better than coming to school," Doan said. "Whenever we get those big lunch rushes coming through, I'd much rather be sitting behind the desk."

Zach does a little bit of everything at the fast food joint, including manning the grill. After his shift, he heads back to the high school for football practice.

"It's been a big learning experience, kind of giving me a little taste of the real world," he said.

"He goes to work on the weekends, after practice a lot of days and it just makes him a better person," Carbondale head football coach Dan Koester said. "He's a hard worker and he's just a great kid to be around."

But Zach's job is more out of necessity than for extra spending money. Two weeks before his 15th birthday, he found out his parents were getting a divorce. His mother moved to Nevada, his biological father was not around. So he decided to move in with his grandpa.

"It kind of helped me develop into more of a man than a boy."

Left with very little, Doan decided to make the best out of the situation. He started playing football and is now the Terriers starting free safety. All along, he's had to work to pay for the things he needs.

"I've experienced a lot for my age," Doan added. "I've got a dose of the real world with a phone bill, truck payment, gas bill, insurance. I have a lot of things that most kids don't have to pay for."

Through it all, football has played a pivotal role in keeping him focused.

"It's just a big blessing," he said. "I just love coming out here and playing ball. It takes my mind off a lot of things that's happened."

Next year Zach plans to enroll in trade school to learn how to become a lineman; taking the lessons he's learned in sports and working at Wendy's wherever he goes.
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