---- — Eric Lacroix set the bar pretty high, but younger brother Evan is doing quite well in his own right.
Like Eric, a sophomore football player at WPI, Evan is a top student and three-sport athlete at Methuen High.
Evan, a senior quad-captain, caught four passes for 77 yards including a 40-yard touchdown in Methuen’s season-opening win. Last year he caught 36 passes for 456 yards.
“He’s as hardnosed a kid as we have. He’s like a coach on the field,” said first-year Ranger coach Tom Ryan.
In this week’s Around the Horn, Lacroix talks about his injury marred sophomore season, his involvement in JROTC and his infatuation with fantasy football.
It had to be a nice opener with the win and you scoring a touchdown? “It was great to battle back after a dismal first drive, their 65-yard run. We drove 95 yards.”
What happened on the touchdown? “Austin George-Williams just put it right in my belly. It was great. There was no safety help over the top.”
Coach said you hurt your ankle? “It’s getting better. I’m doing what I can. I was just at physical therapy.”
Compare Tom Ryan to Tom Tone, your current and former coaches? “Both are similar. Both are every dedicated. Things didn’t work out with Coach Tone but he’s doing great (as offensive coordinator for Billerica). They both do whatever it takes to help the program.”
What are your personal goals for this fall? “I just want to get better each year with the record. We were 3-8 the last couple years. That’s not where we want to be. Personally, I’d like to have more catches.”
You’re known for playing bigger than you are. Where does that come from? “Just watching my brother (Eric, MHS ‘12) play safety at a buck 55 like I am. We both can toss our weight around.”
Did you play with him? “I started the first game (in 2011) vs. Plymouth North and caught 2-point conversion from him. Then I had a really bad hamstring pull. I just tried to keep going. I could barely walk. It lingered until December.”
What was that like? “It was tough. Especially in the summer, people would say, ‘Are you starting, too? It will be Lacroix to Lacroix. Eric was the guy and I just had to watch. What are you going to do?”
How are you doing academically? “I’m right up there. I’m 14th out of about 450. I’m in the History and Spanish honor societies. I won the Dartmouth Book Award.”
Do you play any other sports? “Winter track and baseball. I’m better at baseball (MVC All-Star). That’s my favorite sport. But I work my butt off in all three.”
Are you involved in any other activities? “I’m into JROTC. I’m the S-6. I take care of the website (Google ‘Methuen High ROTC’ to find web page). I was also a committee member for Relay for Life. I try to stay involved with that.”
Are you looking at any schools? “I’m trying to play baseball. I’ve been in contact with WPI, Southern Maine and Wentworth. They are all neck and neck.”
Do you work? “I worked at Market Basket in Salem. I still do it on the weekends.”
Besides your brother, any other athletes in the family? “My dad, David, played soccer in high school at Methuen. He coaches freshman football. My mom, Donna, runs competitively.”
Did you play for your father? “His first year was my freshman year. I was always with the skill players and he was with the line. I’d make fun of him because he was a soccer guy. But he knows a lot now.”
What’s your dream job? “I’m weighing civil engineering. I don’t want to be cooped up inside.”
Who’s your dream date? “Penny (Kaley Cuoco) from the Big Bang Theory.”
What is your pet peeve? “When people call me Eric!”
Do you have a nickname? “Evski.”
Who do you follow on Twitter-Facebook? “NFL Insiders for fantasy football and Jon Lester and Dustin Pedroia. Ochocinco but he’s going to get an unfollow, he’s been annoying lately.”
What’s your fantasy team’s name? “Martin’s Flower Shop. Because I have Doug Martin and there is a flower shop Martin’s near Methuen High.”
Do you have any pets? “A Labradoodle named A.J.”
Why A.J.? “It’s named after my Auntie Janet because she’s the one who convinced my father.”
Have you ever met anybody famous? “In Pop Warner, I saw Robert Kraft who was watching his grandson for Brookline Pop Warner. The grandson wore No. 12, which I through was funny.”
What is the most embarrassing song you have in your iPod? “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye.”
If you were named principal, what’s the first thing you’d do? “Bring back vending machines with the ice cream.”
Group or singer: Zac Brown Band
Song: Knee Deep
Book: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Actor-actress: Adam Sandler
Movie: Happy Gilmore
TV show: Big Bang Theory
Athlete: Curt Schilling
Food: Buffalo wings
Car: Any one that gets me from point A to point B
Teacher: Mr. (Ed) Brandt