By David Fong
TROY — As he lay on the soccer pitch — his knee bent and broken — Mitchell Evans couldn’t help but fear his promising soccer college career was over before it even began.
“I was definitely worried,” the Troy High School senior said. “I was just running. There was no contact. I just heard a loud pop and I knew something was wrong. I was worried schools wouldn’t be interested in me anymore.”
Last spring, while playing for his club soccer team, Evans tore his anterior cruciate ligament, which would force him to miss his entire senior season with the Troy High School team. While some schools backed off their recruitment of Evans, Bowling Green State University stood true, offering Evans a scholarship just days after his injury.
Bowling Green’s faith in Evans paid off, as he will sign a national letter of intent next week to play soccer for the Falcons.
“Right after the injury, a lot of schools that had been interested in me stopped calling,” Evans said. “But Bowling Green called me two days after the injury and told me I could keep my scholarship offer and they still wanted me to play for them.”
Bowling Green already had been the leader for Evans’ services, but that show of faith pretty much cemented the deal in his mind.
“I really liked their coaches,” Evans said. “They showed a lot of interest in me whenever I talked to them. I was able to visit there and hang out with a couple of guys on the team. They all seemed really cool. Two of the guys on the team played for the (Dayton) Galaxy, my club team. It was just a very homey environment.”
Although he missed his senior season at Troy, Evans piled up plenty of accolades early in his career at Troy.
As a junior, Evans was named both All-Greater Western Ohio Conference and first-team All-GWOC North Division. That season, he was second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and four assists. As a sophomore, he was named second-team All-GWOC North after finishing the season with four goals.
“This fall was pretty hard,” Evans said. “Sitting out was hard. It wasn’t something I was used to.”
Now that he’s fully healed, though, Evans said he’s looking forward to playing with his club team in the spring and moving on to college in the fall.
“I’m super excited,” Evans said of playing college soccer. “Everything is just played at a whole different level. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Contact David Fong at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong