Summit County student-athlete of the week: Chris Vangsnes |

Summit County student-athlete of the week: Chris Vangsnes

Chris Vangsnes is a senior at Summit High School and co-captain of the football team.
Jessica Smith / |

Chris Vangsnes joined the Summit High School football team as a freshman. This year, the 6-foot-1 senior plays offensive and defensive tackle and is team co-captain. He also participates on the lacrosse team and is part of the Pre-Collegiate Program. Looking back over his four years, he has a lot of positive memories. Participating in football has also put him on a potential career path in sports medicine, which he intends to pursue after graduation.

Why did you decide to play football?

“I grew up watching football, my family was always big football fans, I just never played myself. I (also) had lots of friends playing.”

As team co-captain, what are your responsibilities?

“Throughout this past off-season, it’s getting players tuned in to do workouts and study up and do footwork things, just to try to sharpen their talents and skills in the off-season even though we have regular season practices. Keeping people on track, making sure they do the right thing, setting the example”

“I’ve always felt that I’m a pretty good leader. I know that now that I’ve got a title of captain people look up to me more and it helps me assume the role a little bit better and help people.”

How do you feel about this past season?

“The ups of the season — I think we came together as one team towards the end. Whatever the scoreboard says at the end of the day I don’t think necessarily reflects how we played as a team. We let that go and enjoy the game and have fun with it. There are absolutely things to work on in off-season, everybody has to, but we’ll see what happens. I’m not disappointed with what happened. No regrets. I enjoyed every bit.”

What has playing football taught you?

“Discipline, stick to something. If you commit to something you need to stick with it for a while, when you possibly can. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.”

Are you able to balance sports and schoolwork?

“As an athlete at the high school, you’ve got to have good time management skills. I’m a pretty good student out of sports as well. Education is important for me so I try to do my homework and study.”

What’s it been like to be part of the Pre-Collegiate Program?

“It’s opened the doors to lots of new college experiences, pushed me to go to college more I guess. I knew it was always available (but) I never for sure knew I was going. (Now) I’m definitely going. I’ve got applications in. I’m not looking to play college football, but football has brought me into the world of sports medicine.”

Why have you chosen to study sports medicine in college?

“I really enjoy sports and being a part of the sports world, helping athletes. Towards the sports medicine realm, (such) as being an athletic trainer, seeing what my athletic trainer does at school and how he’s involved, I think I’m pretty well fit for that position, and I’m still able to help people out, be part of the sports world and do something that’s fun and entertaining for me.”

What were your most memorable moments during your Summit High football career?

“Avoiding the part of winning and losing, just looking back at the good memories, seeing how I’ve worked my way up to being a senior from my freshman year. Looking at the senior team, I never thought it’d be my turn, really, but now it is. I get to experience it for myself. I made a lot of good friends. … I’ll definitely remember it for a long time.”

Do you have a favorite professional sports team?

“The Pittsburg Steelers for the NFL.”

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

“Disciplined, definitely. Outgoing and optimistic.”

What’s on your playlist?

“Whether or not anybody agrees with me or not, I like to get some old honkytonk music. (laughs) … And the Star-Spangled Banner. It just kinda brings that realization forward that now it’s time to play, let’s get it done.”

Wild Card Question: If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?

“I’ve been told I look like Thor. I have long blond hair and I’m actually dressed up like him today (for Halloween). I think it would be pretty cool to fly around and control thunder.”

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