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Boys' soccer Peak Performer of the Year: Evan Young, TCA
TCA’s Evan Young is the type of soccer player who’d hope the ball would deflect off your foot, so the goal went under your name. He likes the spotlight just to the left or right of him — on his teammates.
But often, it beamed on him anyways.
On one September day two years ago, a spectacular individual performance was caught on a handheld video camera. Standing 75 yards from the goal, Young uncharacteristically took a low-percentage shot, pounding the ball down the field with his right foot.
“I remember thinking, ‘Whoa he shot that,’” Titans coach Blake Galvin said. “Then I just heard our fans going nuts.”
From the bleachers, his father was in disarray.
“It was hair-pulling for the coach in me,” his father Ron said, “but amazing for me as a father.”
In a flash, Young had put a perfect ball on net, as the ball inched past the fingertips of St. Mary’s goalie Jacob Calhoun, bouncing on the line and then in.
ESPN picked up the highlight days later.
“I didn’t know I could shoot that far. I still beat up Jacob about it, but he got me back,” Evan said, admitting Calhoun got the last laugh when he pushed away Young’s penalty kick in the state finals. “I would have rather won that one.”
In most games, fans don’t get to see Young’s full repertoire of shots, just the ones he makes look easy.
“He can shoot with his right, with his left and you never know which one because he doesn’t really have a wind up,” Galvin says. “And then it just finds the net.”
Instead, they see a player who wants to make sure his entire team is up to par, as the top-seeded Titans were again this year in 3A, before falling in the quarterfinals.
During the season, Young scored more than a third of TCA’s goals (30), while adding 18 assists. In his four-year career, he has 100 goals and 59 assists — and yes, those numbers could have been higher.
“He’s the most talented player I’ve coached,” Galvin said. “If he wasn’t the leader he was, of course, he could have scored a bunch more. Maybe really long ones … That’s just not him.”
His father was the one who taught him.
“When I was his coach, I used to tell him, you know ‘You’ve scored enough,’” Ron laughed. “But his mother and I always taught him that playing for the team is what’s important, not elevating your stats.”
That mindset has never left the senior.
It was last seen when he played mentor to a strong freshman class, led by potential star Robby Jacobs (17 goals, 10 assists), that will hold together TCA long after he’s gone.
But maybe it was even better illustrated when he was in the fourth grade. Two weeks after getting his appendix removed, Young told his coach he could play late in the championship game.
“’Alright’ I said,” his father and then-coach remembered. “And he went on to score the game-winning goal in that game, which was the last game I ever coached him.”
Then he laughed.
“Yes, it was a little shorter than 75 yards.”
That just wouldn’t be Evan’s style … well, usually.