Adam Shepard ’03 is a force to be reckoned with

What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

A good person to ask might be Bates football player and physics major Adam Shepard ’03.

Each Saturday in the fall, Shepard puts physics principles into action as he roams the defensive backfield for the Bobcats, bringing great force to his job as one of the team’s leading tacklers.

As the rover in the Bobcats’ 4-4 defense, Shepard faces the challenges of an outside linebacker, playing the run. He also has a role to play in a strong safety, getting involved in pass coverage.

It’s a demanding position well-suited to a superb athlete like Shepard, says head coach Mark Harriman. “We can always count on Adam to be in the right place. He’s a physical guy and he’s smart — just a great combination.”

Shepard has been named to two consecutive New England Small College Athletic Conference All-Academic teams. He won last year’s Stephen Ritter Award, given annually to the 10 football team members with the highest grade-point averages at the end of the previous semester.

For Shepard, athletics and academics are the equation for success. “My grades have always been the best during the football season,” he says. “A lot of it comes from the football mindset and the coaching staff. They teach things that extend beyond the field.”

This Canton, Mass., resident has always had a passion for physics. “My father works in the field, so I’ve been surrounded by it all my life. It’s just interesting — you know how the world works.”