Although Co-Captain Evan Park ’18 has only played volleyball for three years, his athleticism has led him to the title of two-year captain.
Throughout his time on the volleyball team, Park has bonded with his teammates, describing them as his family. According to Park, the team nicknames help generate chemistry on the court.
“The volleyball team has become my family; Isaac “Blackburn” Johnson ’18 is like my brother, Ben ‘Hot Cross Buns’ Meyer’s ’18 is like my second cousin, and Neil ‘Neeeiiiillll’ Simpson ’19 is like my father… I think our whimsical use of nicknames separates us from any other team on campus,” wrote Park in an email to The Phillipian.
Park demonstrates his leadership skills through his interactions between both seasoned veterans of the team and newcomers, making sure they find a comfortable spot in their new family.
Simpson, a new setter on the team, said, “Evan made it really easy for me to join the team this year. As a fellow setter, he was happy to show me the ropes early on.”
Park and his fellow co-captain, Austin Tuan ’17 have served in this leadership position for the past two years. Due to this long-term partnership, the pair are able to work together flawlessly, according to Simpson.
“Austin and Evan compliment each other within the context of our team,” said Simpson. “Evan never fails to lighten the mood during practices and games, yet he knows where to draw the line and recognizes when we need to focus in.”
According to Blackburn-Johnson, Park leads his teammates by reinforcing a positive mental state for the team.
“Ev, as we refer to him playfully, has inspired me in a lot of ways. When I’m just too tired to continue, Ev will lean over and whisper things like ‘We’re gonna get through this no matter what,’ or ‘You know this game won’t change how I feel about you, or what we have. It’s bigger than that.’ He’s just that kind of guy,” said Blackburn-Johnson
One of Park’s greatest strengths is his quantity of volleyball knowledge, which he is able to use to strategically guide his team, according to his teammates.
“Evan’s style of leading is very quiet and composed, but he commands a serious level of respect,” said Blackburn-Johnson. “He doesn’t speak very often during games, but when he does, he just spews strategy and demonstrated his well-honed, inhuman volleyball IQ.”
According to Park, he wants to achieve valuable playing time for his whole volleyball family, allowing them the ability to fortify the team chemistry in a couple years.
“My goal this season is to dominate teams early on in games so we can get some of our bench players quality playing time,” said Park.
Andover Boys Volleyball has five games left in their season.