Name: Zach Evans
School: Harrison High School
Athletic accomplishments: Evans leads the Huskies with 12 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals per game. He had 15 points and 11 rebounds in the quarterfinal loss to Tappan Zee. He’s guarded the best player on the opposing team regardless of position according to coach Gary Chiarella. Under Chiarella, Evans is ranked No. 1 in school history in games played and steals. And he’s second in school history in rebounds. He was captain of the basketball team for the second straight year. He was a member of the All-Star Section 1 basketball team in August. Evans was the first eighth-grader named to the varsity basketball team in school history. He was captain of the football team and a member of the spring track team. Evans was named all-conference and all-league in football. He was named to the Class A all-state football team as an honorable-mention defensive back. He was selected to play in the Exceptional Senior football game in November.
Academic accomplishments: Evans has a 97.8 GPA and is a IB (International Baccalaureate) Diploma Candidate with high honors/Magna Cum Laude. He’ll be attending the University of Pennsylvania to play football. He’s a member of the National Honor Society and National Foreign Language Honor Society. In school, Evans is the Presiddent of DECA Business Club and he earned a top-10 finish in competition. He’s a member of the Math team and a peer leader. In the community, he was a counselor at the MVP Basketball Camp in White Plains and the co-president of the non-profit junior board.
Getting to know Zach Evans
The Journal News: The basketball season didn’t end the way you’d like but how did you feel about the season as a whole?
Zach Evans: We had some high hopes going into the season considering we have nine seniors. We’ve been playing together since second or third grade. Our goal was to get to the gold ball game and win one but we fell short. Overall, we still had a good year. It was a lot of fun and we had a lot of great guys. My coaches – Coach Chiarella and Coach Pesco –are the two best coaches I know so it was a great year.
TJN: You have gotten many individual accolades in both football and basketball, but would you trade them for team success?
ZE: I’ve spent a lot of time training and playing so the individual accolades are well earned and I appreciate them, but who wouldn’t. However, at the end of the day, I wish I did have a section title and to take a picture with all my teammates holding a plaque up winning a Class A championship. It’s great to have an individual award but it’s 10 times a greater feeling to have a team award.
TJN: Won’t you have one more shot to have that moment you described with the 4×400-meter relay?
ZE: That’s true. I’m still looking forward to track. I still have a lot of work to do but maybe I can still reach my goal of holding up a plaque with my teammates.
TJN: What did it mean to you to be named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Section 1 from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association?
ZE: It was really cool and I didn’t expect it. My athletic director (Stewart Hanson) told me there were like 150 applicants across Section 1 so it was a big honor. I’m really excited to win money that goes toward college and especially for something like Scholar-Athlete because I worked so hard on the field but also in the classroom.
TJN: What made the University of Pennsylvania the right fit and why continue playing football?
ZE: The only two sports I’d play in college are basketball or football. I have a passion for both sports. I tried to get recruited for both. Football took off a lot faster. When football took off for me, the Ivy Leagues came and some Patriot League schools came with offers from such prestigious schools. It fueled my love for football a little more to pursue it in college more than basketball.
TJN: Do you think if the opportunity came you’d want to play in the NFL?
ZE: I’ll never shut down an opportunity. If I get good enough and get looked at by NFL teams, I’ll never turn that down. It’s a childhood goal to play on TV in the NFL. It’ll be the most amazing thing ever but realistically for now, I’m more focused on being in the weight room getting stronger. Also focus in on the academics for getting the degree.
TJN: What do you want to major in at UPenn?
ZE: As of right now, I’m in the College of Arts and Sciences at UPenn. I’ll probably study economics and I’m really taking a liking to it. My head football coach is actually the IB Economics teacher so it’s a great dynamic. What’s great about Penn is that they encourage you to take classes in other schools. I’m really excited to be a part of a liberal arts education.
TJN: What was it like coming back to the MVP Basketball Camp in White Plains?
ZE: They gave a lot to me. When I was about 12 years old I was the MVP, so after my sophomore year, I became a member of the Junior Non-Profit Board. As a member of the board, we ran charity events. The money raised and donated went to scholarships for kids in Westchester whose families can’t pay for summer camp. It’s a nice thing that we do. It makes me very happy to give back and see the kids enjoying camp like I did every summer.
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically. Academic achievements, leadership, citizenship, and school and community activities are also factors. The winner is selected each week by a panel of athletic directors and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.