Laramie, Wyo. (April 19, 2018) — When Wyoming Cowboy seniors Nico Evans (pictured above running the ball in yesterday’s Spring Game) and Adam Pilapil were high school freshmen in Los Angeles, California they would have never imagined that nine years later they would still be playing football together.Â They also wouldnâ€™t have imagined that their love for the game of football would take them from Los Angeles to Laramie, Wyoming where they would be part of a class that would turnaround the fortunes of the University of Wyoming football program.
The two California natives first met each other at Loyola High School in L.A.Â They came from different parts of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, but football brought them together and has kept them together for years. [bsa_pro_ad_space id=5]
â€œAt Loyola (High School), your freshman year there are about 130 to 150 guys who come out for the football team,â€ said Pilapil.Â â€œBasically, no one really knows each other.Â Itâ€™s kind of referred to as a commuter school.Â You may know a couple kids from your area, but everybody commutes into the school.Â It is just a bunch of people who you donâ€™t know, but everybody wants to play football.Â So that is how Nico and I kind of started.
â€œI remember the first time that I saw Nico, he popped into the weight room and he had jeans on and regular tennis shoes.Â We went out on the track to run 100s, and he was beating everybody.Â After that, we just kind of developed a friendship.
â€œOur sophomore year, Nico was the tailback and I was the quarterback.Â That kind of brought us together, and from then on we just hung out with the same group of friends.Â By the time our senior year came around, he was a leader of the offense and I was one of the leaders of the defense as a safety.â€
â€œThe great thing about Loyola is people from all over California went there,â€ said Evans.Â â€œAdam (Pilapil) lived by the beach, and I live close to downtown.Â For me, I was only about 15 minutes from school, but people would come from two hours away to go to school there.Â It was crazy to see how far people would commute to get there.
â€œOn our football team, we had a lot of guys with individual success but it was a shame we were never able to put it together as a team.Â We had a lot of guys go on and play at different Division I schools.â€
After their four-year career together in high school, Evans was getting recruited by a number of Division I programs, while Pilapil was just looking for an opportunity to play at the NCAA Division I level as a walk-on if need be.
“Our coach, Marvin Sanders, came to me and told me that he had a friend, Steve Stanard, who might be getting a job at Wyoming, and they were really interested in me,â€ said Evans.Â â€œI thought okay, Wyoming, letâ€™s do it.Â I was hungry for a Division I offer.
Â â€œWhen the opportunity came for me to come up here (to Wyoming ) for a visit, I was really impressed.Â Coming from L.A., you donâ€™t hear a lot about Wyoming and what it has to offer.Â I told my coach I was going to commit.â€
For Evans, it was a dream come true to receive a scholarship offer from an NCAA Division I program.Â For Pilapil, it was a dream to just get the opportunity to walk on at a D1 school.