Originally created 04/10/03

Region title within reach for Evans

Spring break came at just the right time for coach Brian Killips and his Evans Knights.

The Knights started camp in late January and have been going nonstop since then.

"They've really played and worked hard and the guys were ready for a break," Killips said. "I think that mentally, the break is a good thing."

Evans is in a position they haven't been in a while - playoff bound.

The Knights have already clinched a spot in the state playoffs, but if they win one of their next two region games, they will clinch their first region title since 1998, which is also the last time the team made the postseason.

Lakeside-DeKalb, which has won the region past three years, and has a well-know reputation around the state, was beaten by the Knights 2-1 on March 28.

"We set a goal to win the region," Killips said. "We never talked about going undefeated. We have a group of seniors that set a goal we knew we could achieve."

M.T. Giovino, B.J. Ralph, Aasif Kazi and Simon Volmerdal have led Evans to an 8-4 record, 6-0 in Region 7-AAAAA. Killips also thinks the time off will help because of the team's unique travel situation.

"The travel wears on you after a while," Killips said. "We went to Atlanta and didn't get home until 1 o'clock in the morning. Hopefully with rest, the team will come back focused."

Evans' last three games of the season - against South Aiken, Aquinas and Richmond Academy - are rescheduled games because of bad weather earlier in the year. Killips has a positive spin on the makeup games.

"I think it will be a good test for us down the stretch because we will be playing teams that will make the playoffs," Killips said.

CORNER KICKS: Rachel Priester and Tiffany Taylor scored two goals apiece, and Kathryn Baxter recorded six saves in Barnwell's 5-4 win over Hannahan last week. The Lady Warhorses improved to 8-4 on the season. ... After going 1-1-1 in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Jekyll Island, Richmond Academy defeated Josey, Harlem and Jefferson County last week to remain atop Region 3-AAA. The Musketeers, currently ranked No. 1 in the state, will play at Westside at 7 p.m. Tuesday. ... South Aiken's boys team, who beat Orangeburg-Wilkinson 15-0 on Tuesday, has outscored its opponents 85-4 with seven shutouts. ... Aiken has won five of its past six games.

Reach Miguelangelo Hernandez at (706) 823-3304.


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