Determined Soccer Star Overcomes Obstacles

VHS’s senior captain of the 2015 Boys Soccer team, JP McEvoy, did not have the easiest route to success.  Before the age of one, he had to have serious heart surgery twice to repair a hole in his heart. At three months old, nine months old, and three years old he had different surgeries to fix two different holes. Besides heart surgeries, at six months old, three years old, and four years old he had to have back surgeries because his spinal cord was tangled.

These surgeries and hardships did not stop him though. At the age of four, he wanted to get involved in sports. JP started off playing soccer, basketball, baseball, and hockey. He was not supposed to play any “contact” sports, therefore football was out of the question.

“I couldn’t even really play soccer because of my surgeries, but my dad really influenced me to start playing all these sports,” said JP.

Overtime, JP practiced frequently and adjusted to his difficulties. He was officially cleared by his doctors to play soccer at a more competitive level, joining a travel club team in second grade. Soccer became his sport.

“I really had a passion for soccer and I was definitely the best at soccer out of all the sports I played; my dad always wanted me to play because I had potential.”

High school sports being much different and more competitive compared to recreational sports, JP had a goal to play as a Verona Hillbilly. “I practiced day in and day out, outside of practices too with friends and family.” JP did not think about captain opportunities as an underclassman; he was always determined and focused on the current season. But his three years of hard work paid off when this year, as he was named one of the three captains for the 2015 season.

“As a senior I felt like I had leadership skills, and I was one of the hardest working kids on the field,” he said. One of his close friends John Demartinis said, “I knew he’d get captain because he’s hardworking and shows dedication. He puts a lot of time and effort into [his] soccer.”

Although his surgeries do not affect him as much now, JP might be as determined and committed as he is because of what it took to overcome those early challenges.