Vinita's Zachary Wattenbarger – Northeast Tech Athlete of the Month

Northeast Tech

By Derrick Smith

Zachary Wattenbarger is a senior at Vinita High School. He is a member of the Hornet football and wrestling teams. He began playing football this season but he has been wrestling since the age of five.

“When I was in elementary school, coach Monty Mattison came to the school and tried to get kids to join the pee-wee wrestling team. I decided to give it a try and I fell in love with it. I enjoy the thrill of going onto the mat and being able to beat another person mentally and physically head to head.”

Wattenbarger says one of his most memorable moments was qualifying for the Oklahoma National Freestyle and Greco Wrestling Team.


There are two people that stand out as role models for Zach’s life.

“My dad really pushed me as a kid to be the best I could be,” he said. “Coach Mattison has taught me almost everything I know about the sport.”

Outside of athletics, Zach is also a member of 4-H, National Honor Society, National Tech Honor Society, and Senior Rotarian.

Along with his schedule at Vinita High, Wattenbarger takes classes at Northeast Tech in Afton. He first heard about it from a friend.

“The brother of a friend of mine went to the Pre-Engineering program there and everything he told me about it made me want to go.”

Zach Wattenbarger

Zach is in the Pre-Engineering program because that is soemthing he has always been interested in.

“I have always wanted to be an engineer and I thought this course might give me a good head start before college.”

Wattenbarger feels that Northeast Tech is a great place for any student that knows what they want to do in life.

“Tech has something for everyone,” he said. “It is a great way to get a head start in a field during high school. The Pre-Engineering class is very fun and hands-on. It combines hands-on activities with advanced math and physics. So, even if you are not interested in going into the engineering field, you can still go there and get some advanced course your home school might not have.”

While he is taking classes at Tech now, Zach already knows what he plans to do after graduation.

“I plan to attend Texas A&M and pursue a degree in aerospace engineering,” he stated. “Also, I have received a Type-7 scholarship from the AFROTC, so I will be in ROTC while I am at A&M and join the Airforce after college.”

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