Hinton – Fayetteville graduate Josh Evans has spent his career as an assistant coach, mostly in his home town of Fayetteville.
After his playing days for the Pirates he was an assistant on Dave Moneypenny’s staff before the school closed in 2019, consolidating into Oak Hill.
That community feel was important to Evans and it’s why when the head coaching gig at Summers County came open in the spring, he was ready for the job.
It paid off as he accepted the gig and now leads a program that’s made the playoffs in two of the last four years.
“It was just the community,” Evans said. “I came down here and met with Coach Dave Smith and he showed me around a little bit. The first thing they showed me was the weight room and that’s what Coach Woods has – he runs our weight program here. He opened the garage door down there and I was like ‘yep, this is where I want to be.’ That’s where it starts and there’s no question about it. They took pride in it.
“I’m from Fayetteville and I get the same feel here that I did there. That’s exactly what brought me here. It feels the same as when I played and coached at Fayetteville.”
Like other teams throughout the state, Evans has had an opportunity to familiarize himself with his players and staff before the start of camp. The three-week period allowed him to evaluate and lay the groundwork for the two-back power system he plans to implement.
“We started our offseason program at the beginning of July and gave them the last week off,” Evans said. “We averaged about 28 to 30 kids for volunteer workouts. That’s huge for single-A. It just seems like the kids that did show up, they learned a lot of football. Defensively we’re not going to change much because it’s been successful here so we’re not going to change it. But offensively we’re going to change some things up from what they did in the past and we were able to get a lot of that installed.
“We were able to hit the ground running on Monday and its carried over in these last two days.”
Playing into that small community feel, Evans came over to the school late in the year to acquaint himself with the kids and players he’d be fielding a team with. The bond he was able to build with them helped drum up interest for the team and he’s continued to parlay it.
“I started in the school in April as part of the credit recovery program,” Evans said. “I got to know some of these kids prior to the season and get in the halls and start talking to them. Some of them that weren’t interested, we were able to get back out. Some of them that hadn’t played in a couple of years we were able to get back out.
“We painted the locker room, Coach Woods completely painted the outside himself. I couldn’t ask for better help when it comes to that but the kids, I think they want to be successful. They want discipline in their life so essentially that’s what we’re giving them. They see that we care and they just keep showing up so we’re going to keep coaching them.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at email@example.com, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94