A player from the past played a role in the Evans Knights' win over Class AAAA No. 4 Statesboro last weekend.
When you take a look at the victory, it is easy to give credit to the Evans offensive line, the outstanding defense and, of course, the late-game heroics of Kevin Millward and Jonathan Nicely.
I cannot argue with any of those aspects of the game. The Knights played terrific, the coaches were terrific and the fan support was tremendous.
Many fans, however, might not realize the Knights had a little extra motivation vs. the Blue Devils.
That motivation came in the form of former Knights all-state linebacker Levar Johnson.
Johnson had a stellar career for the Knights, being named First Team All-County twice and garnering First Team All-State honors as a senior in 1997.
After graduating from Evans, he went on to play for four seasons at Duke. His college choice should show you the type of kid Johnson was.
I was fortunate enough to talk with him several times during his prep career, and he is still one of the most impressive student athletes I have interviewed in my broadcast career.
Before the huge matchup with Statesboro, Johnson was in the locker room with the Knights and gave the team a speech that had the fired-up group ready to jump through the roof.
Now, this is nothing new. Many former players come back to support their high school team, and often times coaches ask those players to talk with the team to get them pumped up for the game.
Johnson took his role as motivator a step further.
Going beyond his pre-game responsibility, the former linebacker became the leader of the Knights' cheering section.
Before the game, we got word in the booth that Johnson would be on the sidelines. I did not have to spend much time scanning the field to find him.
Johnson spent the entire game yelling encouragement to the team and screaming for the fans to get into the game.
Every time the Knights were faced with a big play, Johnson implored the fans to get on their feet.
It was this kind of passion that made him so good as a player, and now he was doing his part to ensure a Knights victory. It is great to see someone take the time to give back to his alma mater.
If you know Johnson, thank him, because he did his part last Friday, too.
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