Born to run

Cantu has always wanted to be a football player.

Born+to+run

Sydney Endicott, Editor/ Reporter/ Photographer

Evan Cantu has wanted to be a star football player since third grade.  

“I knew since the very first football practice this was going to be my thing,” Cantu said. “I loved it so much, and I knew with my talent as a kid I had a lot of potential.”

Now a senior at Maize South, Cantu is not just a football player. He’s one of the best in the state at his position. Cantu leads all Kansas running backs with 1371 yards through six games. 

“I am currently in first and plan on doing it for the rest of the season,” Cantu said.

Coach Brent Pfeifer said Cantu is a role model for his team, saying he pushes himself all year to improve. 

“You don’t get to where Evan is as an athlete without surrounding yourself with good people and a desire to work harder than anyone else each day.” ”

— Brent Pfeifer, Maize South coach

Cantu sees the potential in his teammates, and the Mavericks have been showing that on the field. They started the season with five consecutive victories and are tied for the best record in Class 5A West with the playoffs around the corner.

“I know this team has a ton of potential,” Cantu said. 

Cantu is always striving to help his teammates even during the off-season. Senior Tair Luce remembers the time Cantu helped him during winter weights.

“I would be working out with him and he would push me every day, because he’s the strongest guy on the team,” Luce said. “I was always trying to keep up with him. He’s a super encouraging guy and always supports his fellow teammates.”

Pfeifer has watched Cantu grow throughout the years.

“He is more confident about making a single cut and working through traffic,” Pfeifer said. “Most of all, he spent time developing his speed.”

While football is a major part of Cantu’s life, the hope to one day pay his parents back is worth the work.

“I’ve never let them down,” Cantu said. “They are always looking forward to watching my football games. They are the people I love the most and the most supportive parents.” 

Cantu is confident the team will be successful in the playoffs, which start after Week 8.

“We are always here for each other through thick and thin,” Cantu said. “We always sort things right whatever’s wrong.”

Luce said he knows Cantu will be reliable every game and wants to win more than anything.

“Sure he wants to score touchdowns and run for a lot of yards,” Luce said. “But he wants to help the team however he can, He just wants the team to win every Friday night.”