CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In the last 21 years of South Meck football, the Sabres have only had 4 winning seasons. Enter Joe Evans as he tries to change that.
Because of years of losing, the number of kids coming out to play football has been super low. Last year, South Meck had 33 hundred students and so far this off season, only 75 have come out to play.
“The thing I am most excited about is tapping into the untapped potential over here,” said Evans. “This is a sleeping giant. You can open up the doors over here and see kids walking around the halls and you get them on the field and get them all pointed in the right direction, it can be something special.”
Evans has been a head coach before at Ardrey Kell and Independence. In his 4 years leading a program, he has never had a losing season and has a career record of 33-18. The last 2 years, he was an assistant coach at Myers Park and helped a Mustang team reach the 4AA Western Regional Final last season.
Expectation will be high at South for Evans but his 2 years away from being a head coach has given him a new perspective as well as patience to deal with a rebuild.
“You always have a sense of urgency that a lot of people don’t have and one of the things I learned is it takes time,” said Evans. "My standard is always way high and I never lower my standard but it takes time. For right now, we are just putting our heads down and doing the things we need to do to be successful.
The start to the Evans era at South could be rocky as they may have the toughest non conference schedule in the state of North Carolina.
They start the year with a road game at Charlotte Catholic who won the 3A state title in 2019.
Then 2 weeks later host Weddington who won the 3AA title last season.
The next week, they host Myers Park who played in the state semifinals in 2019 and then they finish the non conference schedule with a game at Vance who played in the 4AA title game last year.
A tough road to haul but once again for Evans, it goes back to the mentality of South Meck.
“We have to expect to win,” said Evans. “The mentality is, we get to play them-- they have to play us. When you take that mentality to the field, you’re going to make things happen.”