While most athletes spent the summer preparing for the upcoming sport season, one area football player used the time to do something different.
He was preparing to defend his country.
On June 5, Colcord senior Will Evans left for basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He graduated from basic training Wednesday, Aug. 16, just in time to return home to watch his fellow Hornets scrimmage with Hulbert.
“I have always wanted to be the military since I was a little kid,” said Evans. “I found out I could join as a junior so I took that opportunity.”
Evans joined the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He plans to join the U.S. Army after graduation and AIT training.
"I think it is my turn to defend the country I love and the people in it,” said Evans.
Evans said basic training was not easy, but support from home got him through the tough moments.
"The letters from home kept me going," Evans said. "I knew that when it was all said and done I would be able to go back home and it would all be worth it.
“The thing that helped me the most during basic training was keeping the mentality of 'you have to do this' along with the support from everyone.”
His life-long dream of serving in the military also helped carry him through the tough days.
“It means a lot to be in the Army," Evans said. "You have a lot to uphold when you join the world’s greatest fighting force.
"You have a lot of rules and guidelines to follow. It is a sense of pride knowing you are in the Army."
Evans said basic training has helped change his world view.
“The military has given me a whole different view of the way people are and what it takes to be a US soldier,” Evans said, adding he's happy to return home to be apart of the Colcord Hornets football team.
“It makes happy to see all the people that kept urging me on while at basic training," Evans said. "But I think I am ready to start practice and be a part of this team and enjoy my senior year."
Evans said he's been asked numerous questions since returning from his training.
“The one thing I have been asked the most is how was basic training," Evans said with a smile. "Everyone comes up and comments I thought you would be more buff that you are.
“I tell them you don’t necessarily get buff during basic training. Basic training is a lot of conditioning through running, push-ups and sit ups.”
He did enjoy his rifle marksmanship training.
“I guess the one thing that kind of bothers me since I have been back is that everyone comes up and thanks me for serving my country," Evans said. "I appreciate people thinking me. But I feel the thanks should go to the people [in] uniform [who have] given the ultimate sacrifice."
Evans will continue training with the National Guard one weekend a month until next summer when he will go for AIT training and then join the Army.
quote from coach
"I know our staff and Will's teammates are proud of his decision to join the military. His passion for his country and wanting to serve while in high school is a testament to the high character person that Will is." - Colcord Coach Curtis Waltman