For a guy with one hand, Zac Vogt is an excellent juggler. Born with just a thumb on his right hand, Vogt is a three-sport dynamo, who is carrying a 4.633 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. His outstanding grades in his advanced placement courses are why he’s, literally, off the chart academically. For these reasons, Vogt is CBC’s 2012 Scholar Athlete.
Vogt, 18, is a master of maximizing his time. He has to be in order to compete at the varsity level in soccer, basketball and baseball while maintaining his excellent work in CBC’s honors program. This semester he’s carrying AP English, AP Calculus, AP Government, AP Physics and an advanced Spanish course. In order to balance it all, Vogt’s days come in two versions: long and longer. “It’s a lot of late nights and a lot of early mornings,” the 5-foot-10, 150-pound Vogt says.
While Vogt enjoys driving as much as the next guy, there are those days that he needs his mom or dad to take the wheel so he can get a jumpstart on his school work. He lives in O’Fallon, which, depending on the traffic, can be up to an hour commute. That’s an hour he can be hashing out calculus problems, practicing his Español or hammering out a paper.
Vogt says the only way to make all of this work is by earning a black belt in time management. It’s something he wrestled to the ground years ago. “It started near the end of middle school. I was playing three sports and they were club sports. Sometimes I’d have two practices in a day,” Vogt says. “Staying on top of things is the main thing.”
Vogt never considered cashing out of one of his sports or sacrificing his academics to make this hectic way of life work. He wanted to play at a high level, study at a high level and succeed at a high level. He’s done all of that and then some.
That he’s playing baseball is a testament to his fortitude. An outfielder and pitcher, it took Vogt years to work out a way to wear his glove on his left hand, catch the ball and in seamless motion, transfer the glove to his right hand and throw the ball back in to the infield with his left. The simple act of throwing and catching, which is easily taken for granted, was a major hump for Vogt. And he conquered it. Just like every other challenge that’s stood in his way.
This spring season is the last Vogt will play competitively. He had hoped to play soccer at the college level but was unable to find a school that matched both his academic and athletic needs. Instead, he was awarded the Knight Achievement Scholarship and will study Mechanical Engineering at Burnett Honors College at the University of Central Florida.
Vogt’s passion for math and science began at a young age. The problem solving challenged him and the logical progressions of both subjects made sense to him. “Early on, I always liked math and science,” he says. “There was a definite answer.”
Vogt hopes to turn that passion into a career. His plan is to study Mechanical Engineering and then go into Forensic Engineering. Forensic engineers use math and physics to determine what happened in a certain situation. For example, when there is a car accident the forensic engineer will look at the accident and then work backward to determine what happened, why it happened and in some cases, present the findings in court. “I kind of stumbled upon it,” Vogt says.
Vogt will miss his athletic endeavors while at UCF. “I don’t know what I’d do with myself with a whole season off,” Vogt says. There will be other things to eat up his schedule. Not that that will be a problem. Vogt is, after all, a master of managing his time.