Kaycie Evans is the perfect example of what the annual N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games are all about.
Evans, who will play in the All-Star girls soccer game Tuesday night at UNC Greensboro, didn’t start playing soccer until middle school. And she certainly didn’t begin her senior season expecting to still be playing soccer in July. But when you work hard, give everything you have for your team and impress a rival coach who just happens to be an All-Star coach this season, it happens.
And for Evans, a 5-foot-5 midfielder and recent North Johnston High grad, it’s pretty awesome.
“It’s awesome, definitely unexpected,” Evans said of her selection earlier this summer. “I’m really appreciative of the chance to play one last time.”
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The annual All-Star Games in boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer and football feature many of the top class of 2014 athletes in the state. The majority of the time, those players are as well known for their determination to succeed as they are for their athletic talent.
Normally, you will not see too many of the three-, four- and five-star athletes that get so much attention as they make their college decisions. Mostly those players are already at the school of their choice, working out and preparing for the coming season.
What fans who attend the games in Greensboro, which also feature three Greater Neuse River 4A Conference standouts in Southeast Raleigh basketball star Tiffany McCarter, Clayton football kicker Nick Christensen and Southeast linebacker David Onyiego, will see are dozens of outstanding athletes whose senior seasons were truly special.
Evans, the daughter of Darrel and Donna Evans, is certainly in that bunch. She played wherever North Johnston coach Jody Edwards asked her to try and did it well.
“She played forward for our first five games, we moved her to center midfield and went on a seven-game win streak, then used her on defense when we needed her,” Edwards said. “We used her at marking back as well. She could do whatever we asked.”
Beddingfield coach Glenn Griffin was among those who were impressed and knew a player like Evans would be a big help to his East team.
Evans, who was an all-Eastern Plains Conference and All-Region selection in 2A, received some college recruiting attention late in the school year. But she is currently planning to start her post-graduate schooling at Johnston Community College, then transfer to a four-year school to study early elementary education.
But another performance of note in Tuesday night’s match could change those plans. Whatever comes of the match, Evans will handle it. Just like she did any other situation she found herself in on the pitch this year.