Editor’s note: The Star is counting down the top high school football players in Southern Arizona in the weeks leading up to the start of the regular season.
Today: Pusch Ridge Christian running back Evan Lovett.
The rundown: Lovett is a 6-foot, 185-pound junior at Pusch Ridge Christian.
Who he is: Coach Jerry Harris said his running back is a special athlete. Harris said Lovett is arguably the team’s hardest worker and one of its most humble players — an combination not normally found in talented athletes.
“He’s special on the football field, but he’s a special kid because of those other attributes,” Harris said.
Lovett describes himself as an introvert, preferring to lead by example.
One of his personal goals for the 2019 season is to become a better leader while gaining 2,000 rushing yards.
Lovett’s quiet demeanor translates to the way he plays, which led to his breakout sophomore season.
“If I see something in my way, I just try to get by it or through it — whichever is easier,” Lovett said. “Just, honestly, push through it.”
Proof he’s good: Lovett was named to the Class 3A first team as a sophomore. The running back rushed for 1,192 yards on 122 carries while scoring 13 touchdowns. He also caught 10 passes for 204 yards and two scores.
He said it: “He’s got a huge amount of upside. He had a breakout year last year – nobody was expecting that. His challenge this year is just really to handle the success and to know that he’s going to have a target on his back in every game. And to still be able to overcome that and have the type of production that he did last year.
“He’s got a great group of guys around him that are going to help support him in that regard. He’s a great team guy as well. Even if his individual accomplishments don’t turn out quite as impressive, I know that he’s hoping for better team results than we had last year.” – Harris