EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 20, 2013

Moynihan Scholar-Athlete: Brooks' Vieira hopes to take soccer skills to Brandeis

Brooks soccer star inspired by his family

Michael Muldoon

---- — Zach Vieira has an unusual inspiration.

While it might not seem that out of the ordinary to look up to your grandfather, Zach’s grandfather, Norbert Vieira, died when he was only 4 or 5 years old.

“I dedicated my senior season to him,” said Zach, an Andover resident who started the last four years for the Brooks School soccer team. “We were really close. I think of him when I play soccer. He played in Portugal. I had such a connection to him.”

Vieira, the Moynihan Scholar-Athlete of the Month for November, hopes to continue his soccer career at Brandeis.

He has made the honor roll every terms at Brooks.

“He’s very driven,” said his mother, Cheryl Arbia. “He just likes to work really hard to achieve his goals.”

As the pun goes, he’s goal-oriented.

Zach has had quite a career and capped it off with a memorable senior year. He repeated as an Eagle-Tribune All-Star and his 17 goals gave him 44 for his career.

Brooks coach Dusty Richard said in the fall, “Zach has tremendous technical ability, good pace and plays extremely well with his back to the goal. He’s a tireless dynamo.”

There were times Vieira felt anything but tireless.

“My junior year and the first half of my senior year were really hard,” he explained. “It was school, soccer, then four hours of homework junior year. The senior year in the fall was because of the college process.”

When asked about the dreaded “senior slide,” Vieira said that won’t happen to him.

“My parents are both from lower class immigrant families and they worked really hard,” said the speedy 5-10 Vieira, who hopes to study biology or biochemistry in college. “They gave me the opportunity.”

Coaches and athletic directors can send Moynihan Scholar-Athlete nominees to Michael Muldoon at mmuldoon@eagletribune.com.