After the departure of Russell Lucas from Hamlin, Chris Evans is now the new head coach for the Pied Pipers heading into the 2021 season. Evans comes over from Wheeler where he built a successful program making numerous deep runs in the playoffs. Evans was very familiar with Hamlin already running into them in the playoffs several times with Wheeler. Evans is ready to go to work in the fall.
Evans said, “We’ve played them three times in the last four years, I knew in advance they had good football kids and good athletic kids and good staff and community. The number one expectation coming in was to continue that, so we initially haven’t changed too much trying to come in with what they had already done and just tweak little things.”
Evans enters the job at a time where it’s easy to get to know his new squad as they tackle summer workouts. The players have warmed up to Evans so far and are excited to continue with his leadership.
Josh Hood said, “He’s been good, he’s real big on family and us coming together and bonding. He’s been working us hard to get us to where we need to be for the season. He talks to us about playing to the best of our abilities and coming together as a family and being as one and not bringing the whole team down. It’s all about the team.”
Samuel McNeeley said, “It’s been different. He’s had a big impact on showing up and getting better to the best of our ability.”
After a run to the state championship game in 2019 and going three rounds deep in 2020, Hamlin has graduated most of the players from those two teams. Evans understands he’s taking over a fresh team, but is ready to face the challenge head on.
Evans said, “There will be some growing pains, we graduated 14 last year. Obviously, graduating that many on a team that was highly successful, there will be a little bit of lull without that experience and we’re gonna play with a bunch of teams that don’t have a bunch of experience, but they’ve been around tradition and success and they’ve been apart of groups that have won and I think this last group of seniors had 50 something games they’ve played over the last four years, so these kids have been around good football.”
Practices are set to begin for Hamlin and the rest of the Big Country in less than a month.