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Disabato: Evan Panfil impresses off the field

Evan Panfil Lincoln-Way Central

Evan Panfil, Lincoln-Way Central

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Updated: February 2, 2013 6:04AM



Every year, the SouthtownStar’s sports department invites all 50 members of its All-Area Football Team to a video shoot. The finished product is shown at our All-Area Football Banquet.

We held the 2012 video shoot at our office in Tinley Park. Every year, we ask the honorees to bring their game jersey, along with some patience.

We ask players a variety of questions. Most try their best to play along — at least until we start asking them to sing a Christmas carol or their school’s fight song. Few oblige either request.

When I was 17, I wouldn’t have, either.

Of course, a few have an attitude. Two didn’t show up. Hey, teenagers have things to do.

One young man, however, made quite an impression. His name is Evan Panfil, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound lineman with a million-dollar physique, from Lincoln-Way Central.

I can’t remember the last time I came across a kid this polite, this respectful. A complete gentlemen, as his very sharp dress attire suggested — business casual, including shiny brown dress shoes. No saggy jeans, no hoodie, no unlaced sneakers, no bling.

As a reporter and someone who subscribes to Esquire, I notice these things.

We were a little behind schedule and Evan was forced to stick around longer than anticipated. He could have developed an attitude, for sure. But he didn’t. He was respectful, responding, “yes, sir” and “no, sir” to questions.

We tested Evan’s patience even more, initially having him tape his portion of the video with his glasses on, then having him remove his glasses because of a glare we were picking up on camera. It didn’t matter to him.

At the end of the video shoot, he made it a point to look me straight in the eyes and extend his hand. “Thank you for this honor,” he said.

Evan Panfil is the type of kid who gives you hope about the future. This young man is going places — beyond playing football at the University of Illinois.



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