The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


April 2, 2014

Diamond's Renfro picks Benedictine for football

DIAMOND, Mo. — Diamond running back Zach Renfro has never been one to seek the spotlight.

Despite being a featured running back most of his high school career, the senior was ready to play on the offensive line if it would help his team.

“After we lost to Ash Grove, he came to me in the locker room and said, ‘Coach, if I need to move to the line, then move me to the line. I’ll do whatever I have to do. I just want to win,’ ” Diamond coach Jimmy Dushane said. “He’s unselfish and is just a great character kid.”

Ironically, his attitude and work ethic helped place Renfro squarely in the spotlight.

In front of friends, family and his coaches, the all-Spring River Valley Conference performer signed a letter of intent on Wednesday at the high school to play football at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan.

“He works extremely hard,” Dushane said. “He’s a tough young man ... He just loves it. When he goes, he goes.”

Renfro started all four years for the Wildcats, playing tight end and outside linebacker as a freshman and running back and defensive end the next three years. He earned multiple all-conference, all-district and all-region honors.

“For the last two years I’ve had the privilege of having (Renfro) play for me,” Dushane said. “During that time frame, he’s rushed for more than 2,500 yards and a total offensive output of 3,500 yards. Those are pretty good numbers for two years.”

Renfro finished his career with about 3,500 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns. Add in receiving and return yards, and Renfro compiled about 4,500 in four years. Dushane said he owns Diamond’s school record for single-game rushing yards with 268 against Ash Grove in 2012.

Benedictine finished 10-2 in 2013 and lost in the first round of the NAIA playoffs.

Renfro said he knew he wanted to attend the Heart of America Athletic Conference school after his campus visit.

“It didn’t really hit me until I went up there that (playing college football) was what I wanted to do,” Renfro said.

“I’ve always wanted to go play a college sport, whether it would be football or baseball. I’m confident in my decision to go play ... I want to stick it out and go do something I love to do.”

Renfro said he also considered Graceland University.

He is the son of Kevin and Jill Renfro.

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