Evans has had a successful year in sports.
Evans soccer players Sam Giovino and Kevin Burton are in the Athlete Spotlight.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The Knights had the county's best football team. The boys basketball team went 7-1 against county foes. The baseball team has been ranked No. 1 all year. The swim team had the county's best finish at the state meet.
Now, according to Knights senior Sam Giovino, it's the soccer team's turn.
Thanks to the scoring prowess of Giovino and junior Kevin Burton, the Knights (8-2-1) have gotten off to a hot start after many believed Evans would struggle by moving down in classification.
Evans was in Class-AAAAA last season and faced only one strong team in its region: Lakeside-DeKalb.
This year, Evans was the county's lone Class-AAAA team that began the season unranked.
"We knew the teams we would play day in and day out would be tougher," said Burton. "But we also knew we hadn't lost a region game in two years. We didn't want to start a new trend this year."
Giovino and Burton have combined for 24 goals and more than a dozen assists this season.
Giovino already has scored 13 goals and has surpassed the total number of goals he scored last season.
"I don't think I've done anything different," Giovino said. "I'll tell you what. Having Kevin back has definitely taken pressure off me and has made our offense that much better."
Burton, a junior, was forced to miss last season after suffering a severed heel in a dirt-bike accident.
"They basically had to re-attach my heel to my foot," Burton said. "It wasn't fun. It was really tough to watch the team play last season. I just wanted to get out there."
Although he probably will never get back to 100 percent, Burton has scored 11 goals this season and has given Evans a second scoring threat.
"His return has made us a better team," Evans coach Brian Killips said.
Both Burton and Giovino said that the high amount of goal scoring has just been a result of the games and that they haven't done anything differently.
But they now have a side game.
"We have a friendly competition," Giovino said. "We will joke with each other after the game to see who's leading in scoring. There is no bitterness, though."
Giovino said he would like to end his senior year on a high note and would like to beat Lakeside.
"I have that game circled; it's 11 days away," he said. "I've never beaten them. My brothers never beat them. It'd be pretty cool to be the only Giovino to beat Lakeside."
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