How great is it when you are passionate about something and you get to not only entertain yourself, but entertain and help others.
Mephki Lopez is passionate about a lot of things and does not leave any of those passions shortchanged. The 19-year old senior from W.B. Saul plays tight end and middle linebacker and has been a four-year starter for Roxborough’s football team. He also competes on the back line on Saul’s volleyball team.
Two of his passions to be sure. But the Mount Airy resident is also passionate about something else when he is not at school studying Food Science and Processing.
In addition to his athletic endeavors, Lopez is passionate about art. More specifically, he is seriously into something called cosplay.
For those of you who are uninitiated as to what that activity entails, people who are into cosplay usually design, make and wear costumes. Sometimes the costumes are of a known superhero or they could be an invention springing from the person’s imagination.
They gather for cosplay events like a comic-con or photo shoots in locations that accentuate their costumes. Tens of thousands of people are involved in cosplay around the world.
“You create a costume or buy a costume of a certain character that you are interested in or has had a big impact on your childhood and you portray the character at events where other people do the same,” Lopez said. “In my case, I go to these events and then I also go to charity events.”
As a youngster, Lopez read anything he could get his hands on and one of the earliest things he read was a Spider-Man comic book. That piqued his interest in the Stan Lee-created superhero and the rest is history.
“That kind of pushed my mind to think, ‘I want to do stuff like this,” Lopez said. “I want be like Spider-Man, dress up and do all this.’ It definitely was a big influence when I was younger.”
As Lopez mentioned, he does charity events which really makes him a special young man. About three years ago, one of Lopez’s best friends, Daniel Riley, got him involved in a group called The Philadelphia Avengers. The group visits places like VA and children’s hospitals and participates in charity events for cancer patients.
“I think, in general, for how my personality is, I like making people happy,” Lopez said. “I’m not one to bring anybody down. And if I know somebody is down, I do my best to liven up the mood so they’re a lot happier than what they were before. So going to hospitals and seeing kids is a really big thing for me because I enjoy making kids laugh and seeing people happy just in general.”
He has taken a break from the group to concentrate on academics, but intends to jump right back into it once school ends. Lopez said he has scholarship offers from Delaware State, Shippensburg, Temple and Penn. He is hoping to get accepted to Ursinus where he would like to continue his football career and take advantage of their theater program.
“For theater,” Lopez said, “I can go into making costumes designed for stage and that can progress my skills to get a lot better than what I am now.”
When he graduates from Saul in June, he will be one of those students that people will not soon forget, even if they only think back to his costume at Halloween when he portrayed the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. But it is guaranteed that he will be remembered for a whole lot more.
“He just has really great values,” Saul athletic director Mary Creighton said. “I think he’s very humble, too, because he doesn’t brag about this. I think through his huge interest in cosplay he’s able to blend two interests, helping people and doing it through something he really likes. It allows him to have fun and do something he loves while bringing joy.”