By Sheri Duff
Zack Evans is competitive – and that’s putting it lightly. According to Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head boys soccer coach TJ Mead, “Zack is one of the few guys that I know that is more competitive than I am – and that’s saying something. He competes in everything. Zack has a competitive fire that cannot be coached. If I could bottle that fire and sell it, I would.”
Born on Feb. 3, 1996 in Williamsburg, Va., Evans and his family made Shelburne their permanent home when he began kindergarten at the community school. His family includes parents Jean and David, younger brother Jake, a freshman at CVU, and Maggie, the family dog.
“My first organized soccer experience was through the rec department when I was in kindergarten,” Evans recalls. “My parents played sports so they signed me up. Growing up, I was involved in a lot of different activities. Soccer stuck.”
At 10, he began playing soccer year-round. With a combination of skills gleaned from a variety of organizations, including middle school and the Nordic Soccer Club travel team, Evans is competitive in all phases of the game. His preparation and dedication to soccer is paying off for the Redhawks.
“One of my strengths as captain is that I lead by example. That includes my play on the field,” Evans said. “I am also very vocal out there.” Coach Mead added, “Zack pushes himself and, in turn, his teammates. He doesn’t ask them to do anything he wouldn’t do. He runs the defense and has for the past three years; Zack is an important part of this team’s success.” And the team is successful. The defending state championship soccer team’s record currently stands at 10-1 with only one game to go before playoffs.
Success on the pitch may have been easy for Evans, but this 3-year varsity player and 2-year captain enjoys a challenge—so much so that as part of his Grad Challenge Project, Evans participated in the World Championship Spartan Beast, a 13-mile obstacle course from Hades. Known as the toughest race on the planet, Evans completed the “Beast” in 6 hours and 30 minutes. “That race was the hardest thing I have ever done,” he confides. “It is one of my proudest moments because I was out of my comfort zone. It felt great to finish, and I would definitely be interested in doing it again.”
Evans, who is also a varsity basketball and lacrosse player, will play soccer at the next level. “I just verbally committed to UVM,” he informed. “They recruited me, and I plan to play soccer there. I’m officially undecided about my major. I am thinking about studying business,” he said. Plans for next year complete, Evans’ interest returns to the pitch, organizing the Redhawks’ defense, and winning another state championship.