Senior wide receiver Trevor Socarras, left, stands with senior linebacker Evan Harvey, right, before the start of practice Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016, at the John C. Whitehead Football Practice Facility. Socarras and Harvey chose their jersey numbers because of personal significance. (Sarah Epstein/B&W Staff)

Lehigh athletes on why they choose their numbers

All athletes are motivated to do their best for their own personal reasons. But two Lehigh senior football players stay motivated by the number four.

The first-time senior wide receiver Trevor Socarras stepped onto the football field was in high school, where he was first given No. 4 by his coach. The more he played the more he realized how sacred the number was for him. Socarras’ twin brother was diagnosed with autism at the age of 4, and ever since high school he has made sure that he wears a jersey that has the number four on it.

“My brother gives me motivation to do my best in everything I do, especially (when I was) on the football field in high school because I wanted to get a good education so I could provide for us later on down the road if anything were to happen,” Socarras said.

As an incoming freshman, the likelihood of receiving a preferred number is low. At the time, No. 4 was already taken, but former Lehigh coach Jason Miran gave Socarras No. 84 to continue his tradition of having No. 4 on his jersey.

“When I got No. 84, I realized how special it was since four is the year my brother got diagnosed and it changed our lives forever and there’s two of us — so four times two,” Socarras said. “I always have my brother in my mind when I’m on the field and having this number gives me that extra kick to do my best because it’s a privilege that other kids, like my brother, don’t have.”

Socarras thought about asking fifth-year teammate LaQuan Lambert for No. 4, but decided to senior linebacker Evan Harvey, have the number instead. This season, Harvey wears the No. 4 across his jersey in remembrance of a lost friend. Harvey dons the number in memory of Greg Bryant Jr., a former friend and teammate from high school who unexpectedly passed away last spring.

“Junior year of high school, I was on the verge of losing my love for the game that I had played since I was 4 years old,” Harvey said. “(Bryant) encouraged me to transfer to his high school, American Heritage. I followed his advice and enrolled my senior year.”

Harvey’s year at American Heritage ended up being the best season of his life with the help of Bryant and his father. Bryant’s father was his position coach and the greatest factor in helping him hone his skills, while Bryant was one of the best football players he had ever played with. Without the two, he says he wouldn’t be the football player he is today.

“When I think of the number four I think of (Bryant) and think that his life and the possibility of him playing at the next level was cut short, and that really gives me my ‘why’ this year … other than the fact that I love football,” Harvey said. “I definitely want to pay homage to him and his family and make him proud as he watches over me this year.”

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