HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - The Hanover community is still stunned by the death of William & Mary running back Nathan Evans.
The former Hanover youth football player was shot and killed last week in Norfolk.
If you ask the Hanover Warriors’ coach Jim Rice about what makes a player great, he’ll tell you it all comes down to one quality.
“I care about one thing and one thing only and that’s effort," said Rice.
As Rice enters his sixth season with the Warriors, he can’t help but reflect on his first star player Nathan Evans.
“He gave 100 percent effort,” said Rice. “When he showed up every talented player in Hanover County showed up with him.”
“I didn’t call him. They all got together and did it themselves, and it was really him doing that,” said Rice.
Though Rice didn’t know Evans off the field he tells me he learned exactly who he was by watching him play.
“This great game gave me a light as to what kind of person he is,” said Rice. “He’s a leader.”
In 2014, Evans lead the Warriors to their first undefeated season.
He graduated from Lee Davis High School and went on to become a running back at the College of William & Mary.
Even rival coaches like Linwood Johnson with the Spiders youth league will tell you Evans was a player like no other.
“I was like ‘Who is this kid?’ because the kid was amazing on the football field," said Johnson. “That’s the part that hurts, he was a kid actually made it out of the county, he beat the odds and got his chance to go to school."
Evans was killed March 21, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
Police responded to the 800 block of West 43rd Street for a report of a shooting.
Officers found Evans suffering from a gunshot wound on the sidewalk where he later died.
“We lost something that every community needs and that’s somebody who can teach by example and he really did,” said Rice.
Despite questions still looming since his death, Rice hopes that the legacy Evans left behind will continue to inspire the latest team of Hanover Warriors.
“He was an idol for kids growing up and an idol for kids playing at his level,” said Rice. “He really was the back bone of that team.”
The Warriors plan on having a homecoming game later this spring to honor Nathan Evans.
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