The Geoff Evans era ended almost before it began.
After just one season at his alma mater as Hickory High boys’ basketball coach, Evans announced he has stepped down.
“It’s something I had to do for my family, just had to do it,” Evans said via telephoneThursday afternoon.
Professionally, Evans is involved in outdoor sales, and related, “the territory just will not allow the time for me to focus on coaching.”
Evans, 35, has been involved in coaching for 6 seasons, previously serving as an assistant at Kennedy Catholic for Rick Mancino and Sharon’s Jason Rankin.
This past season the Hornets had a 16-6 overall, 11-5 Region 5-AAA record. Hickory was humbled by Strong Vincent (50-40) in its opening-round District 10 tournament tilt.
“We had a little bit of success,” Evans reflected. “We got to the playoffs. I would’ve liked to get past that first round, but we met a good Strong Vincent team and we didn’t play well that night — I think we shot, like, eighteen percent that night — and had our lowest (scoring) output of the season.
“It was a tough ending, but we had some highs,” Evans continued. “The kids gave a lot of effort, and we had more highs than lows.”
Evans enjoyed a stellar scholastic career at Hickory under Hornets’ headmaster Bill Dzuricsko (3 PIAA Class AAA Final Four berths) and admitted, being at the Hornets’ helm this past season was meaningful.
“It was fun walking through that door. I remember that first home game, it was against Farrell,” Evans said. “It brought that competition back, that burning fire of wanting to win and getting the kids at a place where they were working hard.
“Getting back in the Hickory gym, it was fun to be back. It was a little different from when I was there,” Evans admitted, “but it was an enjoyable experiencc and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it.”
Evans earned an undergraduate degree in marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, then a masters degree in education, but was able to find full-time employment in a local school district and lamented, “If I didn’t have this different professional position, I definitely would’ve been back.”
Commenting on coaching, Evans continued, “I’m gonna miss it — the daily grind of preparing ... practice and planning ... gettin’ after it in practice, then the games.”
Evans’ young family — he and wife Mindy have daughter Daniella, 6, and son Danté, 4 — also factored into his decision. Two of his assistants from this season, Ryan Anderton and Tom Roskos, also have young families.
“I’m definitely gonna miss (coaching), but I also enjoy time with my kids. ... Talking with my wife, if the kids want to do something, it’s gotta be all out and I want to be there for them every step of the way.
“If I was twenty-two, twenty-three years old, maybe being able to coach and sub(stitute teach), it’d be a different thing. But when you’ve got two kids a wife and a mortgage ...
“It’s taken me a long time to come to this decision, but I didn’t want to leave (his successor) stranded. I want to give him time to get in here, get a summer program, open gym, then a fall program.
“I’d be pushing it, trying to get back in time, to get to practice,” Evans said regarding the prospect of continuing to coach while working in his new endeavor. “But I want to get back (from work) and enjoy spending time with (his children).
“My son has taken a liking to basketball, and I’ve been teaching him the fundamentals of shooting,” Evans related, admitting the prospect of someday coaching his son may result in his return.
“You never know,” Evans acknowledged.
The Geoff Evans era ended almost before it began.
GC coach Bell retired — sort of!
You can take the man out of coaching, but you can’t take coaching out of the man.
Former Grove City High football coach Jeff Bell has spent his first few months of retirement hearing the ping of a baseball ricocheting off an aluminum bat instead of clap of shoulder pads coming together.
“My grandson Maddox (Bell) and a few of his friends play on a traveling team, so I’m helping out with that,” said Bell, who retired as the Eagles’ football coach this past winter. “They’re a good group of kids to work with and this is a lot more enjoyable. It’s a lot less stress.
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Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
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Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
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Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
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Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
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Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
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