Long before he picked up his diploma at Mt. Abram High School in June, Evan Allen made a promise to himself to excel in school and become valedictorian of the class of 2020.

Mt. Abram’s Evan Allen (9) steals the ball from Hall-Dale senior Akira Warren during a Mountain Valley Conference boys soccer game last September in Strong. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

His stellar efforts in the classroom and on the soccer field have not gone unnoticed.

The lanky valedictorian, who graduated in June with a 4.0 gpa, was recently named United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-America (along with Oxford Hills’ Cecelia Dieterich and two other Mainers) to go along with his onfield accolades, which include Mountain Conference Valley Player of the Year, two-time Maine Soccer Coaches Class C Player of the Year and a Sun Journal All-Region first-team player.

According to the United Soccer Coaches’ website: “To be nominated, players must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or better (on a 4.0 scale) through the first semester of their senior year, must have demonstrated recognized excellence in high school soccer and must have performed community service at the local, regional or national level.”

“It is kind of neat how my athletic success is recognized along with my academic success,” Allen said. “I owe a lot to my teachers for pushing me more, and I owe a lot to my father for coaching me … and driving me to soccer practices, wherever that may be (Allen also played for Seacoast United in Topsham). They sacrificed a lot for me to be able to do that.”

Allen has an opportunity to fly to California to be recognized by the United Soccer Coaches in January at the organization’s convention.

Allen’s accomplishments on the field and in the classroom easily met all the requirements. His future looks promising as he prepares himself to begin studying engineering at Maine Maritime Academy in the fall. He was also going to play soccer for the Mariners, but the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on MMA’s 2020 season.

Allen charted the path of his future early on, and it is now paying off.

“If I am going to be in school and going to classes, why not give it my all, challenge myself?” Allen said. “I believe in challenging myself and having the most adversity as possible because that way, when something changes, I am used to being in a hard sport and manage how to figure things out.”

There are many reasons for Allen’s motivation to become a top-notch student as well as study engineering.

“My mom was valedictorian of her class and she went to the University of Maine for pretty much free to be an engineer,” Allen said. “She was kind of my inspiration to do that. She always told us she couldn’t do things then she ended up doing the things that no one thought she could.”

Allen’s can-do attitude and perseverance makes his parents, Darren and Angel, beam with pride.

“The best word to describe Evan is unselfish — a key player, leader, unselfish,” said Darren Allen, who is also the Mt. Abram boys soccer coach. “He doesn’t like the limelight or the spotlight, kind of shy from that, but he wants the team to do well.

“As an individual, he is driven both academically and athletically. He has his mother’s intelligence. My wife was valedictorian as well. That was Evan’s goal when he was a freshman. He wanted to be No. 1 in his class. He is very organized. He prioritizes; he’s quiet. He has passions in the classroom and on the soccer field.”

For Evan, a playing on a team means everybody gets into the act — and that no player should be a one-man show.

“I like having the ball. I don’t like scoring myself,” Evan said. “If I am in the position to score, I will do it for the team, but I really don’t like scoring all the goals. I like giving other people chances to score. I rather find a good pass and have them go ahead and score.

“I guess I just like having team success over my own individual success. I rather have everyone as a whole enjoy a win rather than me score five goals and lose 6-5.”

Evan said he has been fortunate to play for his father, who motivated his son to become an accomplished player and an honor student

“Sometimes, we would butt heads, but it was it was kind of neat,” Evan said. “After practice, we would go home and be like, ‘Oh, we are going to try this drill or we are going to try this person in this spot. We have a big game coming up. What does the team need?’

“It was kind of nice. He was my coach, but even outside of that, being my father and everything, we were still able to have that conversation and still kind of be a coach at home.”

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