Former West Stokes football standout Zack Manley just completed an unforgettable playing career at Emory & Henry College by leading his team in 83 tackles and was named to the second team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference team.
“Emory and Henry has been a great experience for me and I’m thankful for my time there and the people I’ve met,” Manley said. “Playing football has taught me a lot about overcoming adversity and the importance of a work ethic. I appreciate the professors and administrators who have helped me with my academics and have prepared me for life after graduation.”
Manley began his college career at Campbell University before having surgery on his shoulder. After a medical redshirt, he transferred to Emory & Henry where he felt the move was a better fit.
While playing football for the Wasp, Manley played in 30 games notching 150 career tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, two blocked kicks, a fumble recovery, and an interception. His team finished 3-7 this season.
“While it’s nice to be recognized for my individual performance and for how hard I’ve worked, it’s unfortunate we weren’t able to win more games in my final season,” Manley said. “I hate losing and it was tough going through this, but I learned a lot about football and will miss playing with my teammates.”
Manley played for Wildcat coach Jimmy Upchurch during his time at West Stokes. He was a two-time all-conference performer and finished as the runner-up for conference defensive player of the year in 2012. Manley helped the Cats achieve the highest honor in high school football in 2011 when his team held a 16-0 record and won the 2AA NCHSAA State Championship at N.C. State University. He set career tackle marks while playing for the Wildcats with 169 during his senior year and a total of 331.
“Zack was a very good leader on and off the field for us,” said Upchurch. “His intestinal fortitude made him into a really good high school and college linebacker. We are very proud of his accomplishments as a player and student.”
Manley is majoring in health and human performance education with a minor in sports management at Emory & Henry. He completed the first semester of his senior year with a 3.5 grade point average and was also a National Honor Society member while in high school. Manley hopes to coach high school football and then move on to the college level as a strength and conditioning coach.
He is the son of Chris Manley and Denise Tedder. His brother Alex played at Emory & Henry this past season and the two were teammates.
Emory & Henry College is a private coeducational liberal arts college located in Emory, Virginia. The campus comprises 335 acres of Washington County, which is part of the Appalachian highlands of Southwest Virginia. Founded in 1836, the school is the oldest institution of higher learning in Southwest Virginia.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.