Elliot Lapin an Inspiration


St. John’s football manager, Lapin, is committed to academics, athletics

By MICHAEL SUDHALTER

Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 3:39 pm | Updated: 9:04 am, Fri Sep 16, 2011.

St. John’s senior Elliott Lapin is an inspiration to his family, teammates, classmates and coaches.

Lapin, a 17-year-old West University resident, has been in a wheelchair since he was 10 years old.

But the Mavericks’ Football Team’s Manager has overcome the challenges he’s faced.

“It’s taken a lot of hard work, a lot of time and energy, but the way I see it, there was really no alternative,” Lapin said.

Lapin drives to school every day in a vehicle with specially-equipped hand-controls.

St. John’s senior Elliott Lapin, the Mavericks’ football manager, is joined by his parents,  Eve and Bobby, during Parents Night on Sept. 9 at Skip Lee Field

St. John’s senior Elliott Lapin, the Mavericks’ football manager, is joined by his parents, Eve and Bobby, during Parents Night on Sept. 9 at Skip Lee Field.

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Bobby Lapin, Elliott’s father and a prominent Houston attorney, is proud of the things that his son has accomplished.

“It’s been a very difficult journey,” Bobby said. “Nobody who is able-bodied can possibly appreciate how difficult life is from a wheelchair, particularly for a teenager. Elliott has continued to amaze and impress us with his courage, his dedication and he never complains. He faces his adversity with remarkable strength and patience. It blows me away to observe that...I admire what he’s been able to accomplish more than anything I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Lapin first became involved with the St. John’s football program as a seventh grader. SJS Middle School principal Eric Lombardi suggested that he get involved with the team, and Lapin decided it was a good idea.

“He’s part of us,” St. John’s head football coach Steve Gleaves said. “He’s with us all the time, comes to practice all the time. He does stats, and he’s going to do some video stuff for us. The biggest thing is he really likes to get into the Xs and Os of offense and defense.”

“When he was in Middle School, he’d bring me some plays he’d drawn up.”

Lapin keeps the Mavericks’ defensive statistics during games and attends practices where he helps the team any way he can.

“They’ve been very supportive,” Lapin said. “I joke around with them in the locker room before games. We take a ball and toss it with each other.”

Lapin does very well academically and is a member of St. John’s Academic Quiz Bowl and Latin teams.

He’s considering getting involved in the Paralympic Games in college and would like to be a manager for the college football program, wherever he goes to school.

“I think it’d be marvelous,” Bobby said. “He’s a huge sports fan. He’s a real scholar and student of the game of football. I’d be delighted if he takes a role with the school he attends. He said one day he’d like to coach football.”

“We go to as many (games) as we can. We sure love to see him down on the sidelines…the players get the glory, as they should. The managers still have to put in all of the time and effort. Elliott is without any ego. We’re extraordinarily proud of him and admire that he’d make this commitment to the team.”

Last season, Lapin flew with the Mavericks to Tulsa, Okla. for their Southwest Preparatory Conference matchup against Holland Hall.

“Just traveling with the team was so much fun,” Lapin said.

He also enjoys the historic rivalry between St. John’s and Kinkaid, which will be played on Oct. 28 at Rice Stadium.

“I have a lot of friends at (Kinkaid),” Lapin said. “It’s good to be part of a team. During the game, I take defensive stats. This is what I can do most to help the team.”