Zephyrhills students hope spirit of pep rally helps classmate beat cancer

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Friday's pep rally at Zephyrhills High School was about more than just school spirit.

Students rallied around a rising senior who is battling an aggressive form of bone cancer.

Zachary Springfield was diagnosed two months ago and will have to complete his senior year coursework at home as he undergoes treatment.

But his classmates, teachers, and coaches want him to know they are there for him every step of the way.

“It’s heartbreaking," said James Kretschmar, the Zephyrhills High School cross country coach. "You think he’s a three-sport athlete, this shouldn’t happen. But, you know, it does and it can happen to anyone and unfortunately, it happened to him.”

Several of Zachary's teammates, along with coaches, family friends, and even his dad, had their heads shaved at the pep rally by local barbers in solidarity.

"Stand with him, stand behind him, support him," said Doyle Springfield, Zachary's dad. "There’s a lot of things that show a little more solidarity and this was one of them.”