Evan Jumper didn’t want to be a skinny kid.
He played lacrosse during his freshman year at Myrtle Beach High School, but he knew that if he wanted to stick with football — his first love — his lanky physique and focus would have to change.
“I was tired of losing weight,” he said. “I said, ‘I’ve got to bulk up or I’m never going to go anywhere.’”
So Jumper committed to football, changing his diet and hitting the weight room. Between his sophomore and senior years, he gained 60 pounds. Now he’s certainly going places. The Seahawks’ left tackle has committed to Furman University, where he will play on the Paladins’ offensive line.
Apart from his personal commitment, Jumper said his coaches gave him the tools to succeed.
“They do a great job,” he said. “All my credit I would like to give to the coaches. They taught me how to do everything.”
Jumper grew up on the football field. His mother took him to watch his brother play when Jumper was just 10 days old, and as soon as he was eligible for organized football he started playing at Pepper Geddings Recreation Center.
He remembers watching Myrtle Beach win a state title when he was 8 years old.
“I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do when I’m there,’” he said. “‘I want to win championships.’”
That goal is fueling him during his final year of prep football. The Seahawks’ season ended in the second round of the playoffs last year, and this veteran-laden team is hungry for another opportunity.
Jumper said their goals remain the same each season: win the region, beat Conway and hoist the state championship trophy.
“Nothing changes,” he said. “That’s what’s so great about Myrtle Beach is consistency. That’s what we strive for every year.”
Heading into this season, Jumper isn’t making any predictions. But he does know this is an exciting team.
“People can expect a high-powered offense and a great defense,” he said. “I’m not going to promise anything because I don’t know. Things happen. It’s a crazy game. I learned that the hard way last year. You’ll just have to come out and watch.”