Evans of SHS to take baseball skill to Holmes CC

Jonathan Evans and his family
Staff Writer

Often times in sports, all an athlete needs is one chance to break through and prove just how valuable they can be on the field or the court.

Starkville High School’s Jonathan Evans plans to make his chance count next year on the baseball diamond after falling behind with the Yellowjackets due to injury. A recent tryout at Holmes Community College blew away coaches in Goodman to the point that they wouldn’t allow Evans to leave without knowing he had received an offer.

Evans gladly accepted the offer, committed and signed with the Bulldogs on Monday afternoon.

“It’s like a big weight just lifted off of your shoulders," Evans said. "You feel like you can just conquer the world now. (The offer) caught me off guard. I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I just thank God for it all.”

The upside that Evans brings to the table is what impressed the coaches at Holmes. Evans is 6-2, 195 pounds and can pitch and play outfield on the next level.

Former SHS head coach Travis Garner isn’t surprised that he got a chance with his intangibles set.

“As a sophomore, with that big class of seniors we had a couple of years ago, he was starting for us,” Garner said of Evans. “He went to the football field, got that major knee surgery and he never could get back. At the end of the day, he’s a kid with a world of ability. He probably has as much ability of anybody on the team. It all just hasn’t clicked yet.

“He’s going to get an opportunity to go to the next level and have another coaching staff get their hands on him. There are late bloomers all the time in the game and if he all puts it together, he’s the most talented player we had in the program.”

Garner is set to take the Caledonia head coaching position next season but was happy to see yet another Yellowjacket make his way to the next level. The past year he’s eclipsed double-digit players that have made their way to the next level under his watch at SHS.

To be able to watch stories unfold like Evans is something that he will always cherish, and, of course, no matter the colors he dons over the years, his players will always be his players. He’s looking forward to watching Evans career blossom at Holmes.

“I think that’s 11 or 12 guys that we put in college since I’ve been here," Garner said. "I’m proud of him. I keep up with all of those kids through Facebook and it does wonders. Dr. (Cheyenne) Trussell told us the other day in a meeting that coaching is about relationships and it’s something we’ll keep the rest of our lives.”