Meet the Character: Evan Czarnecki

Most of the time, Evan Czarnecki’s not recognizable in his turnout gear for the fire department. The firefighter/EMT started with the department after he graduated from  Exeter High.

“That was a fun discussion to have with my dad,” Czarnecki said. “Telling him I wasn’t going to college might be the toughest conversation I’ve ever had.”

Czarnecki’s father, Ralph, is an English professor at Exeter State. That job brought the family to Exeter from Ohio when Czarnecki was 13.

“It took a while to get used to living in such a small town,” Czarnecki said. “I’m glad we moved here, though.”

Czarnecki can also be seen on the playing fields of the high school, where he coaches the girls’ soccer team. He was a star player for the Eagles back in the mid-’90s, and his oldest daughter will be trying out for the team in a few years.

“Only if she wants to,” Czarnecki said. “But she’s the biggest soccer fan of the three girls, so I’m pretty sure she will.”

Full name: Evan Nikolas Czarnecki

Family: My wife, Liz, and our three girls: Michelle, 11; Jessie, 9; and Kayla, 6. My parents, and my older brother George.

Childhood ambition: I always wanted to be a doctor, but after growing up on college campuses, I didn’t want to spend that much time in school. The med students always looked the most stressed out.

Three most important people in life: Liz and the girls.

List of three things would take if evacuating: We keep a bag with duplicates of important papers and family photos where it’s easy to grab if we have to get out. I’d also take my first aid kit and make sure the rest of the family was out safely. Everything else, we can replace.

What would your last meal be? Anything, as long as it’s not for many, many years.

What’s in your iPod? Mostly workout music, stuff with a good beat for running.

Dream vacation: My mom’s family does a reunion every fall in Indiana, and we can never make it because Liz and the girls have school. One year, I’d like to just pull them all out for a couple of days so we can go.

Idea of hell: My oxygen tank malfunctioned one time in the middle of a big fire and I wasn’t sure I would get out in time.

Best advice you ever got: Don’t apologize for your dreams, from my best friend.

Fun Friday night plans: Getting out for beers and burgers with Dan and Chris — the four of us try to do that every few weeks.

Ideal date: Anything with my wife.

Favorite sport? Soccer. I started playing basketball first, growing up in the Midwest, but I like soccer better.

Hobbies/activities: Coaching and my family take up most of my spare time these days, but I used to love skiing when I was a teenager.

Favorite season: Summer.

Favorite quote: Pele once said, “A penalty is a cowardly way to score.” He’s right — for soccer and for life — and I wish I’d understood that the summer I moved to town.

Person you’d love to have dinner with: Mia Hamm and Kristine Lilly — two of the greatest American soccer players ever. If I could learn even a little bit from them to help make me a better coach and motivator for the girls on the team and my girls, I would really appreciate it.

Coffee or tea: Tea, unless I’m in the middle of a big fire. About hour three, I need that caffeine hit.

Beer or wine: Beer. Sam Adams, usually. Guess that means I’m more New England than Midwest now.

Righty or lefty: Righty.

Introvert or extrovert: More introvert, I guess.

Beach or mountains: Beach. I never saw the ocean until we moved out here and I still can’t get over the idea of water where you can’t see the other side.

— CJ Jenkins