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Multiple Teams · Post: Male Athlete of the Year – Evan Neczypor

Neczypor moving on to bigger things
Med school awaits with sports in rearview mirror

Evan Neczypor is The Post’s 2016-17 Male Athlete of the Year.  Photo by BRUCE BILLOW
Evan Neczypor is The Post’s 2016-17 Male Athlete of the Year.

These days, Evan Neczypor is passing time scooping ice cream cones at Mr. Divot’s. The recent North Royalton grad has had more stressful times.

Like in February when he headed to Columbus to interview to be part of the incoming cohort in Ohio State’s biomedical science program, which accepts 26 applicants each year. There were mini-interviews with current students, professors and past students.

Then there was the two-month wait to find out whether he was accepted, or if he’d be plain-old biology major. Still on a pre-med track, but not the exact track he wanted.

“The interview was so nerve-wracking,” he said. “Then I had a game that night. So after all that I had to drive home to play.”

About eight weeks later, Neczypor got the good news that he was accepted into the cohort, which will be his “team” for the next four years, making up for not having an athletic team for the first time since he was a 4-year-old playing Munchkin soccer.

“It is a little weird,” Neczypor said. “It’s been weird talking to kids going to the summer team stuff and knowing I’m not going.”

Neczypor stood out throughout his high school career as both a soccer and basketball player. This past fall he scored 14 goals and had six assists for the Bears soccer team, which finished 12-4-3 overall, 4-2-1 in the Suburban League National Conference. Over the winter he was in his third year as a starting guard on the Bears’ basketball squad, which finished 12-12 overall, 6-8 in the SL National.

That combination is why Neczypor is The Post’s 2016-17 North Royalton Male Athlete of the Year.

“Evan is a great example of the perfect student-athlete any coach hopes for,” North Royalton boys soccer coach Jason Rutkowski said. “In the classroom, on and off the field success. On the field he’ll be a player we will desperately miss and will take some time to fill the production he leaves behind. Seemed in every game we needed a goal or an assist he came through for us.”

Neczypor’s greatest statistic is his 4.43 grade-point average, which helped him even be considered for the OSU bio cohort. He has been stellar in the classroom, even more so than out of it, and has his sights set on a medical career down the line.

He decided sometime during his sophomore year that he wasn’t going to pursue college athletics, a heady choice for an upper-level athlete. Once that decision was made, Neczypor started eyeing Ohio State as his landing spot, with North Carolina a possibility. Cost ultimately made the decision, but it’s one Neczypor is happy with.

Seeing his playing days wind down, on the other hand, did not come as easily.

“It’s unfortunate, but I’m going to play intramurals in college,” he said. “It’s tough. The last games for both sports were hard. I tried to enjoy every moment of it.”

Neczypor definitely left his mark, an indelible imprint, and one he’s likely to keep forging in other ways.

“Evan is a great young man and is going to be a really successful person in life,” North Royalton boys basketball coach Nick Lapsevich said. “It was a pleasure coaching Evan the past few years. He was a fearless player and intense competitor.”

By TODD STUMPF, The Post Sports Editor
August 5th, 2017