Tate Evans will forever be remembered at Richmond Hill High School as a state wrestling champion. He will be remembered in state wrestling lore as the guy who won a state championship despite suffering a broken nose and two broken fingers.
Evans will take those memories with him to Newberry College as he signed a letter of intent Monday to continue his wrestling career with the Wolves who are a national power at the NCAA Division II level.
The 170-pounder was one of three Wildcats athletes who announced their college plans. Anthony Taylor, who finished third in the state wrestling meet at 160 pounds, is going to Averett University and Christian Boggs will continue his football career at Methodist University.
“This a pretty good day when you have two wrestlers sign,” Coach Bill Evans said. “It’s a really good day when one of them is your son.” Many would think going to Newberry was a no-brainer for Evans where his older brother, Will, earned All America honors this season as a 157-pound sophomore but there was more to it than having the opportunity to join a brother with whom he is close.
“Will had a part in it, but not a huge part,” Evans said of his decision to sign with Newberry. “I signed with them because I wanted to go there. “Being familiar with the school and knowing the coaches helped in my decision. I really like the coaches and the school.”
Will Evans was 11-5 this past season at Newberry and finished eighth in the NCAA national tournament which earned him All America honors. Earlier he had finished second in the Super Region II tournament after winning seven of his last eight regular season matches.
Evans was also named an All America Scholar by the National Wrestling Coaches Association for his performance on both the mat and in the classroom. Newberry competes in the South Atlantic Conference Carolinas.
The opportunity to continue his career with Newberry is part of a lifelong dream, Tate Evans said.
“This means a lot to me,” Evans said. “I’ve been looking forever to signing. This is something I’ve wanted since I started.”
While he was proud of his son, Coach Evans was also obviously as proud and happy for Taylor who was a late starter in wrestling.
“His ceiling is not close to being met because of his work ethic,” Evans said of Taylor. “He wrestled two months in middle school and did not wrestle as a freshman.
“Every year he won the Hard Work Award,” said Evans of Taylor who was joined at the signing by his mother Tarree.
Averett University is located in Danville, Va., and competes at the Division III level in the USA South Conference.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Taylor said. “It’s a day I’ve been looking forward to since I started wrestling. I like Averett because it’s a tight knit community.”
Boggs became the ninth football player to sign a letter of intent to play collegiately capping a three-year career with the Wildcats.
Coach Matt Lezotte believes the best is to come for the talented Boggs who was an integral part of the Wildcats offense. Methodist, incidentally, is also a member of the USA South Conference.
“The thing that sets him apart is his skill set,” Lezotte said of Boggs who will play slot receiver for the Monarchs. “He can do so many things on the offensive side of the ball.
“We had to be creative to get the ball in his hands. He comes up big in big games.”
Boggs came to Richmond Hill from Ashland, Ky., in mid-year of his freshman year and playing football helped him to quickly assimilate and make friends.
“I’ve made a lot of friends,” Boggs said. “It was a big adjustment going from a 1A school to 6A football.
“Football helped me make friends and bring me (personality) out. I’m not a real talker.”
Boggs said one of the things he was most proud of was the Wildcats reaching the Final Four in the football playoffs his junior year after beating Valdosta in a quarterfinal game.
“Everyone showed up for the final four games of that season,” Boggs said. “It was awesome.
“I just want to thank everyone who has helped me to become the man I am today.”