Evan Pinetti, a senior captain of the swimming team at Walkersville High School, was named the U.S. Army Impact Player of the Month.
Pinetti was nominated by Lions swimming coach Kevin Conley. Conley coached Pinetti for four years in swimming and coached him in soccer during Pinetti’s freshman year. Pinetti played soccer for all four years as well.
“I saw him in a couple different lights. He’s kind of that quiet leader. He’s not a boisterous, outspoken person, but he puts in his work on the field and in the water,” Conley said. “You just see his drive. … He put the work in. He didn’t participate in any club activities with soccer or swimming, but when he was dedicated to that sport and when he was there for those couple months, he gave you everything he had.”
Pinetti participated in butterfly, breaststroke, medley relay and freestyle relay events for Walkersville. Pinetti competed in several men’s events at the 3A/2A/1A MPSSAA state championships in College Park, Md., in February:
– Walkersville’s 200-yard medley relay team finished ninth with a time of 1:45.46;
– Walkersville’s 200-yard freestyle relay team finished ninth (1:36.00);
– Pinetti finished 12th in the 100-yard butterfly (58.52);
– And Pinetti finished 15th in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:05.54).
Walkersville finished 10th among the men at states. Pinetti’s work at states was the culmination of four years of hard work and dedication, according to Conley.
“Every year, we give our kids a printout of all events they’ve swum,” Conley said. “It was significant time drops every season [for Pinetti], and then certainly from when he started to when he just finished.”
Pinetti had a sense that his senior year could be a special one when Conley told him at the end of his junior season that he wanted to make him a captain of the team for 2019-20.
“It meant a lot to me because I had been on this team all four years. It meant a lot in that respect,” Pinetti said. “Some of my responsibilities — me and the other captains on the team, we led stretches every practice and we helped Coach Conley with the lineups. We had a couple other things we helped with. We had a Swim-A-Thon [fundraiser], and we designed T-shirts for the team, so that was some cool stuff we did.”
There was another reason why this season was so special for Pinetti: His sister, Julia, was a freshman swimmer for Walkersville this year. She came in third in the women’s 200-yard IM at states with a time of 2:12.61, a school record for that event. She also was also part of the 200-yard freestyle relay team.
Should the COVID-19 pandemic force the cancelation of spring sports, one of Evan Pinetti’s last memories of playing high school sports will be competing alongside his sister at states. Pinetti recalled the first time his sister first broke the school’s 200-yard IM record at the Frederick County swim meet earlier this year.
“She’s a little more talented at swimming than I am,” Pinetti said. “She told me she was going to [set the IM record], so I was at the other end of the pool cheering for her. It was just really special when she did get it. It was a good year. It was a lot of fun being on the same team as her.”
Next up for Pinetti is college, though he won’t be swimming. A 4.75 GPA student at Walkersville, he’s leaning toward attending Maryland in the fall. He’s interested in mechanical engineering and is intrigued by aerospace engineering in particular.
“I’ve been taking a lot of classes for it in high school and we’ve done interesting projects,” Pinetti said. “I just think I can leave an impact on the world in that field, so I’m excited about it.”
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Evan Pinetti