St. Charles North product Trace Evans helped Colorado State to its sixth Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Assocation national title last month, playing longstick midfielder for the 21-0 Rams. A sophomore, Evans appeared in 16 games and scooped 33 ground balls while notching one assist. Since returning from Fort Collins, Colo., he is enjoying summer in the Fox Valley, working for Naperville-based New Wave Lacrosse while also playing in a Tuesday night men’s lacrosse league at Moore Park in Geneva. Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley addressed these topics and more and more while catching up with Evans for the latest installment of the Weekend Chit-chat. The following is an edited transcript:
How long is the shelf life of a national championship celebration?
It definitely feels good, but I’m only going to be a junior next year so there’s a long road ahead of us. I definitely want to keep going and not be satisfied with where we are.
That’s got to be pretty weird playing Colorado for the title in Greenville, S.C., right?
Yeah, definitely. It was pretty bizarre to see them in the finals. We thought that Michigan State was actually going to knock them out. That’s what our coaches were saying and what we were thinking … We had seen CU twice and beat them both times during the regular season. Going into that third game, we knew it was going to be tough to get them that third time, but we had confidence. … That rivalry is such a strong rivalry that it was definitely fun seeing them in the finals.
What has everyone said to the women’s team after it won a national title, too?
It’s interesting. We don’t see them all that often. But going into it, I talked to one of their star players and she was talking about how they had lost a lot of players from the year before but everyone had stepped up. … It worked out pretty good for both teams. It was a cool experience.
Do you get many questions or looks about the team being the top level of club as opposed to NCAA Division I?
It’s always so hard because we have that stigma, and I have a bunch of friends that are at Division I, II and III schools playing lacrosse. I definitely would like to play one of their teams just to see how we match up. … Our head coach makes it real serious in practice every day and sends us emails each day to see what we should be focusing on. The lacrosse team is definitely his job and keeping us focused, and we keep it real serious, too.
Prep lacrosse in St. Charles was a co-op when you played. What have you observed about the East-North split?
I know it’s been a struggle, but it’s really cool to see it spread out and more coaches devote time and more kids come in. But I’m glad I got to play with the combined team. … It was really neat to get that across the river [bond] with St. Charles East.
You had one assist this season, in a game against Utah. How did the play develop?
I got a takeaway on the other end of the field, scooped it up and pushed the fast break going the other way. I saw one of the attackmen, Chris Roach, kind of back-cutting, sprinting across the crease, so I saw him flashing and got him the ball. You kind of see that connection and it’s a sneaky play.
What’s the significance of your jersey number, 58?
I was assigned that number at Haines Middle School for football and somehow just picked that number again for high school and stuck with it.
You talked about working for New Wave. What’s the approach when you’re trying to expand leagues to other parts of the state?
New Wave, they have a certain way of running things. It’s a lot of lacrosse. When I went down to central Illinois recently, to Bloomington-Normal, the first thing I had to tell them is the players are on one side of the field and the parents are on the other. … We want it to be professional and want it to look that way, too. … It’s definitely catching on.
What are you studying at CSU?
Double major in business management and then environmental communications … It’s good. I was taking 18 credit hours last semester which is kind of hard with the season, but it’s interesting. I think this can help me land a job where I’m helping people and working with people but also bringing that business aspect into it.