Evans signs with Hardin-Simmons

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY, News-Telegram Sports Editor

Jan. 31, 2008 - As a former coach, Doug Evans has seen a lot of his athletes sign college letters of intent. But, the one on Thursday was the most special.

Evans and his wife, Sharla, were the ones sitting at the signing table this morning when their daughter, Kelsey, put her signature on a letter to play softball for Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene.

Kelsey, a multi-sport letterman for Sulphur Springs, decided on the Baptist-affiliated university because of its Christian atmosphere, the physical therapy program and the success of the Cowgirls softball team.

"I'm excited because it's been one of my dreams since I was a little girl to be a college athlete," she said. "The school is really well known for its physical therapy program, which is what I want to pursue. I've always wanted to go to a Christian university, so that was one of the major factors.

"After my visit, I knew that's where God was leading me."

Evans plays left field for Sulphur Springs and was a Second Team All-District selection as a junior. She has also lettered in volleyball, track and has been a three-year regional qualifier in cross country. In addition, she is in the top five students in her graduating class.

She will be going to a program that has quickly developed. Hardin-Simmons started fielding a team five years ago and the Cowgirls have won the American Southwest Conference championship the last two seasons and advanced to the NCAA Div. III regional tournament in 2007.

Kelsey's father said she picked Hardin-Simmons for the right reasons.

"I'm so excited for her, because this is what she's wanted for a long time. After helping so many other young people go on to college and get scholarships, it's really gratifying to see Kelsey get a chance to play softball in college and go to a good school," he explained. "I'm really proud of the choices she made, and for the reasons she's chosen to go there - for her career and the good Christian atmosphere."

SSHS head softball coach David Carrillo said the Cowgirls are getting an asset.

"There's not enough good things to say about Kelsey," Carrillo said. "She's going to win at whatever she does because she works hard and she finds a way to get that extra edge.

"Anything she does in life, I know she's going to be successful. Everyone has ups and downs, but it seems like she's never down."

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