Lapan takes a break for super cause
For at least one member of Team New Hampshire, a week of three-a-day football practices in the brutally blazing July sun has to feel like a week’s vacation on Lake George.
Milford’s Nik Lapan will battle on Saturday at Castleton University, representing the Granite State in the 2019 Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl against the top graduated seniors from Vermont.
As many of his teammates labored this week, Lapan might as well have told them to walk in his shoes. You see, since graduation from Milford High back in June, Lapan has toiled on a road construction crew.
In a summer of chock-full of 90-plus degree blazers, tearing up asphalt and hanging out around freshly laid hot tar might rank right up there with the worst jobs ever.
“I can tell you it’s not the worst paycheck ever,” laughed Lapan, who will play guard and interior defensive tackle in the game set for Saturday, 5:30 at Spartan Stadium in Vermont.
“I’ve grown up with hard work. I’ve been taught you get what you earn. I’ve been working hard since I could walk.
“This is pretty cool, though. Being out here on the field with some of the best guys in New Hampshire. It’s safe to say I’m excited.”
Stepping away from that paycheck for one week was a no-brainer for Lapan, and the paving folks were excited to let him “enjoy” the time … once they heard what it was about.
“When they saw how the game was for the children’s hospital, they were more than happy to let me do it,” said Lapan, who raised about $500 for the cause on his own.
Once he and former Spartan teammate Owen Zalenski hit campus in Vermont, it’s been pretty much business.
“Game week is a pretty tight schedule with three practice a day,” said Lapan.
“It’s been a lot of work but come Saturday it’s going to be worth it for New Hampshire.
“We do everything as a team, eat our meals as a team, anything we do. The chemistry so far is really good. We have a lot of guys who have played against each other, and a lot of people here don’t know anyone. And we have a great team chemistry.”
While football will be placed in Lapan’s rear-view mirror after Saturday for good, he is a man with a plan.
A return to the road crew is a foundation for his grand scheme.
“I’m going to work full time, doing that for a year or two,” he said. “The plan is to take online classes in spring semester, looking to start college full time in two years. I’m looking to bank as much as I can so I can really take a chunk out of that debt.”
But for now, one last time, it’s all about football, and of course, his