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Evan Chapman didn’t play 11-on-11 football in his senior year of high school, but still feels honored to have manned the lines for Guilford during his junior year. (Photo courtesy of Evan Chapman )
The first time that Evan Chapman put on a helmet and a pair of pads, he knew he was destined to play football.
Evan is currently in his senior year at Guilford High School, where he’s played offensive tackle and defensive end for the football team. Evan’s inspiration for playing football came from his father Sloan Chapman, who also played the sport at Guilford.
“I’ve been playing sports since kindergarten. I started with youth football the summer of 2nd grade and never looked back,” Evan says. “What inspired me to play football was my father. He had a passion for football and also played at Guilford High School, where he was All State. Maybe someday we will play an alumni game together.”
Guilford was limited to playing 7-on-7 non-contact football in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope for Evan, along with many high school football players across the state, was that a full-fledged tackle season could take place sometime between the winter and spring campaigns. Unfortunately, the CIAC nixed any chances of that happening when it recently canceled the proposed alternative season.
“This was a different kind of season for football due to restrictions. This is where, ‘Let them play,’ came into action,” says Evan. “Our football team and our coach traveled to the Hartford state Capitol to voice our hopes to play. I liked how we all gathered to show our love of the game and how important it was for us to play.”
The news was disappointing for Evan and his teammates, especially his fellow seniors, when they found out that they wouldn’t be playing 11-on-11 football in the current school year. Evan had been holding out hope that a season would occur in some shape or form.
“I felt hopeful that we would finally be getting the chance to get some time in this season to be a team and have some senior year memories to take with us. [I} and my teammates have been keeping physically and mentally ready in hopes we would be playing,” Evan says. “As for me, I will continue my workout routine to be strong and ready for next year.”
Evan has received an offer to play football at Nichols College—a Division III school in Dudley, Massachusetts—and hopes to continue his career at the next level. Guilford Head Coach Anthony Salvati describes Evan as one of the hardest workers on his squad and believes that he deserves a shot to play in college.
“Whether it’s in the weight room or on the field, Evan’s one of the first ones in and the last one to leave. His eagerness and determination to become better has led him from a special teams player to a starter and leader on both the offensive and defensive lines,” says Salvati. “Evan has recently received an offer to play for Nichols College, where I know he will excel if he chooses to attend.”
Aside from football, Evan is also a goalie on the Guilford boys’ lacrosse team. Evan had previously played baseball, but recently found his niche in lacrosse and has been playing the sport for the past five years.
When Evan isn’t playing sports at Guilford, he enjoys saltwater and freshwater fishing. Evan is an honor roll student at the high school and plans to major in criminal justice in college with a goal of becoming a police officer.
“I am mentoring with the Guilford High School resource officer [Anthony Martone],” Evan says. “We are working on a Capstone Project, which will be an asset to my college studies and intended career in criminal justice and law enforcement.”
While he wasn’t able to play tackle football as a senior at Guilford, Evan feels grateful for any opportunity that he gets to compete in college, regardless of which school he attends.
“I am looking forward to college,” says Evan. “I’m honored to be playing football at a college level.”