West Lincolnâ€™s Evan Lopes is the first Rebel senior to sign his letter of intent to continue playing football at the college level.
Lopes, who played on both offense and defense during the Rebelsâ€™ 4-8 2011 season, signed with the Brevard College Tornados as an all-purpose back. The Tornados finished the 2011 season at 3-8.
â€œI reached out to a couple of other schools, but Brevard was the one that was really interested in me,â€ Lopes said. â€œI know I might not have Division I talent, but I worked hard to get to where Iâ€™m at so this is what Iâ€™m going to do.â€
Lopes said he hoped to work his way up into playing time during his freshman year.
â€œIâ€™d like to make the travel team, thatâ€™s my first goal,â€ he said. â€œYou get on the 100-man roster, then you have to make the 53-man travel roster.â€
To prepare for competition at the college level, Lopes said heâ€™s been working hard in the weight room.
â€œRight now Iâ€™m in the muscle building phase,â€ he said. â€œWhen we get later on into the spring Iâ€™ll do some speed work and some agility drills, but for now Iâ€™m just living in the weight room.â€
Lopes will be joining former teammates Billy Newton and Bradley Newton on the Brevard roster.
Lopes said he was happy to be attending a school close to home.
â€œOnce the season is over, Iâ€™ll be able to visit family and I can bring people up to watch me play,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve had several chance to visit the town and the campus, Iâ€™ll definitely spend the next four years there.â€