Evans is making quite an impact at South River

Boys lacrosse: Defenseman Mike Evans' hard-hitting play has impressed Johns Hopkins, where he will play next season.

Sports Beat

Anne Arundel County schools

April 06, 2005|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

When Mike Evans was called up to the South River varsity as a freshman, he wanted to make an impression.

He did. In his first varsity lacrosse game, he leveled an opponent and was called for a penalty.

He has continued to make impressions on people, including the coaching staff at Johns Hopkins.

Last fall, Evans, a defenseman, signed with Hopkins to play lacrosse. Eric Chick, an attackman who graduated from South River in 1990, is the only other Seahawk to play lacrosse at Hopkins.

Evans is 6 feet 1, 200 pounds and runs the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. In addition to his physical attributes, he impressed Hopkins with his aggressiveness, intensity and understanding of the game.

"It's an honor to be the second from South River going to Hopkins, and I can't imagine playing for a better coach than [Hopkins'] Dave Pietramala, who was the best defenseman to ever play," said Evans, who was coming off an All-County season in football as a running back when he committed to the Blue Jays.

Pietramala and his staff first saw Evans last summer. He was unheralded at the time, with no All-Metro or All-County credentials.

Evans was playing on the elite Free State team and then again at the Camp Two-on-Five held at the University of Maryland when the Hopkins coaches noticed him.

"On July 1, the first day college coaches could call [players going into their senior year], Hopkins was the first to call," said Evans, who heard from Pietramala himself.

"I was really excited because I wanted to stay in the area and Hopkins was where I wanted to go."

Greg Carroll, the longtime South River coach who retired after the 2003 season but stayed on as an assistant athletic director, says Evans has what it takes to succeed at the next level.

"Mike is a good physical specimen with very good speed and a good head for the big step up, and should do well," said Carroll, who also coached Chick.

Those sentiments were echoed by Seahawks coach Troy Smith, who has been at the Edgewater high school for five years after a three-year stint as coach at Parkside High in Wicomico County.

"Mike started on JV with me, but after three games it was obvious that he belonged on the varsity," said Smith, who played for Carroll and graduated from South River in 1991.

"We could see early on that Mike had speed and strength and a great head on his shoulders far beyond most players his age."

Evans has gotten stronger through weightlifting and boxing. Although he enjoys boxing for the exercise and says The Contender is one of his favorite TV shows, he has no intention of competing in that sport.

He does, however, love to hit people. But Evans is more than just physical on defense.

Smith has watched Evans grow as a defenseman, a position he started playing as a 10-year-old after moving from Prince George's County to the South River district.

"My stickwork was OK when I was little," Evans said, "but I loved to hit people, so they gave me a long stick, and I've been using it ever since. I've learned to stop balls, get take-aways and focus on my opponents trying to score. And I've learned to be a vocal leader on defense."

Smith said Evans is as smart on the field as he is in the classroom, where he has a 4.0 grade point average this semester and a 3.3 mark overall.

"We made Mike a team captain and that was easy because of his sense of lacrosse that is well beyond most kids," Smith said.

"A sense of the game is hard to coach and while most kids are still learning it, Mike knows it. He knows you can't do it alone and knows how to utilize his teammates. He knows everybody else's responsibilities and is always talking to them and telling them where to go. Mike has the team concept down."

Evans led his Sports Management Club at school to a first-place finish in a countywide oral presentation competition and plans to major in political science, attend law school and one day take over his father's law firm.

Smith attributes Evans' positive makeup to his parents. His father, Jerry, is a lobbyist, and his mother, Kathy, is a former assistant States' Attorney.

"His family is extremely supportive of him and our program, and believe me, that means a lot," Smith said.

THE QUOTE

"She's money. There is no other player that I've had here that I would want to come up in that situation, especially when I knew she was feeling like she may have let her team down." Jeff Shepherd, coach of the top-ranked Severna Park softball team, on standout junior pitcher/hitter Kaila Jenkins, after she atoned for giving up three runs in the top of the fifth by tripling in two runs in the bottom of the inning to give the Falcons a 5-3 victory over Northeast.

THE NUMBER

20

State lacrosse championships won by Anne Arundel County teams since the sport was sanctioned for such status in 1990. The girls have won 11 titles (Severna Park leads with six) and the boys nine (Broadneck leads with four).

THE WEEK AHEAD

BASEBALL

No. 13 Arundel at No. 7 Broadneck

Friday, 4 p.m.

Two of the county's top teams meet in the first week of the 16-game league schedule.

SOFTBALL

No. 7 Old Mill at No. 4 Northeast

Today, 4 p.m.

The upstart visitors will get a big test in Pasadena when they face Lauren Hart and the perennial contending Eagles.

30 YEARS AGO

Bobby Boyd threw hard for Brooklyn Park in a practice game at Loyola on a cold March day and impressed a California Angels scout, who reported to his supervisor, the legendary Walter Youse. Youse and scores of scouts would follow Boyd through the spring as he went 10-2 with a county-record 0.52 ERA and two no-hitters, including a perfect game in the playoffs. Drafted by Youse and the Angels in the 17th round in June 1975, Boyd signed in August. A shoulder injury would end his pro career. Boyd coached the North County softball team to state titles in 2002 and 2003.

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