On May 12, Lincolnwood’s Evan Hopper was named the 2020 Chad Langheim Male Athlete of the Year for the MSM Conference.
The awards, named after the late Pawnee standout and Lincolnwood principal, are selected by the athletic directors of the MSM Conference and are determined by their athletic and academic accomplishments, involvement in clubs and organizations and their service to their community.
Hopper, the valedictorian of the senior class and the male athlete of the year at Lincolnwood, was an integral part of three teams throughout his time in Raymond, starting with soccer in the fall. The senior forward was named MVP and Best Offensive Player this past season after leading the team in goals (19) and assists (10) for the second consecutive year. The school’s all-time single game scoring leader (six against Vandalia), Hopper finished his career with 49 career goals and more than 20 assists.
“Throughout his four years in the soccer program, Evan grew as a player and as a leader,” Coach Joe Webb said. “All of his statistics pale in comparison to Evan as a teammate, leader and person. He has always been willing to work with any teammate on improving their skill and is a friend to anyone he meets.”
In basketball, Hopper was a tenacious defender and brought the same hustle and determination to the basketball court that made him excel on the soccer field. In 80 games for the Lancers, Hopper scored 292 points, grabbed 139 rebounds and had 96 steals.
“Evan’s perseverance and focus throughout his senior season after the tragedy he went through in the pre-season was remarkable,” Coach Matt Millburg said, referring to the loss of his mother, Kim, in a car accident in November. “He never missed a practice or game and that leadership will be greatly missed in our program.”
While his senior baseball season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopper proved to be a force on the diamond as well, especially over the last two years. As a sophomore, Hopper batted .315 with four home runs and 29 RBIs for the Lincolnwood/Morrisonville co-op baseball team, then followed that up with a .476 average and 14 RBIs in 42 at-bats as a junior.
“I had the pleasure to coach Evan for seven years and he was a very skilled defensive and offensive player,” Lincolnwood AD and Morrisonville/Lincolnwood Assistant Coach Josh Stone said. “He was always working to get better. He knew the game inside of the game, which is why I really enjoyed coaching him. He was thinking along with you, and sometimes ahead of you, and that was fun to be a part of. Even when he was injured, he sat next to me and we talked a lot of baseball on the buckets. He was a special one and I believe he has a bright future in baseball.”
Hopper was also one of the Mohawks’ top pitchers with 54 strikeouts in 36 innings over the last two years.
“He was always ready and willing to help any teammate to improve. Thinking about his athletic ability in baseball, I, as well as he I’m sure, would have loved to see what he could have accomplished with an injury free junior year and a senior season not being taken away.” Morrisonville/Lincolnwood Head Coach Mark Ferrill said. “I have no doubt he will be a success at the next level and continue to take head on anything that life throws at him!”
As great as his athletic ability, Hopper’s ability to overcome and perseverance surpass that. After his mother’s death, he found strength in his faith and family, who has started the #KimKind project in her memory, with donations to several worthy causes.
Hopper will continue to be a dual threat in college as he plans to attend Blackburn College, double majoring in sports management and physical education, while also playing baseball and soccer.
Hopper is the third Lincolnwood athlete to earn the honor since 2016, joining Bryan Graham (2016) and Abby Brockmeyer (2016, 2017).
In addition to Hopper, Abbey McCue of Waverly High School was also honored. McCue was a standout in volleyball and track for South County, advancing to the state track meet in pole vault each of her first three years.
McCue was also involved in student council, Key Club, National Honor Society, Math Club and Jared’s Keepers during her time at Waverly. Outside of school, she is heavily involved with the Modesto Christian Church, the First Baptist Church of Waverly youth group, the Ronald McDonald House and the Macoupin County Flyers Club, where she has completed ten hours of flight lessons toward obtaining her private pilot’s license.
Chad Langheim Male Athlete of the Year
2020: Evan Hopper (Lincolnwood) - Soccer, Basketball, Baseball
2019: Colton Larson (Calvary) - Basketball, Baseball
2018: Mark Talbert (South County) - Basketball, Baseball
2017: Steven Price (Tri-City) - Basketball, Baseball
2016: Bryan Graham (Lincolnwood) - Soccer, Basketball, Baseball; Nate Bahr (Lutheran) - Soccer, Basketball
Chad Langheim Female Athlete of the Year
2020: Abbey McCue (South County) - Volleyball, Track
2019: Cara Anderson (Lutheran) - Volleyball, Basketball, Soccer
2018: Aubrey Hunt (Tri-City) - Volleyball, Basketball, Softball
2017: Abby Brockmeyer (Lincolnwood) - Golf, Basketball, Softball
2016: Abby Brockmeyer (Lincolnwood) - Golf, Basketball, Softball