Athlete of the Week: Jessica Evans, Latta

LATTA, SC (WMBF) - When Latta takes the court at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, it will cap off what is already considered a successful season for the Lady Vikings, but that's because of what has happened to these players as a team.

"We really learned the meaning of family and teamwork," Evans said. "And we did what we needed to do, got down to business to get to where we are now."

Though it's not a completely finished job yet.

"We sat down in June and had a team meeting, and I asked the girls to write down a goal for the season," explained head coach Curtis Jackson. "And every girl wrote down 'repeat as region champs' and 'win a state championship.'"

And Evans has taken it upon herself to guide Latta to this point.

"Jessica is the hype person," said Jackson. "She gets everyone hyped for the game. She's a senior, she's a captain. She actually told me as a freshman, her goal was to have the team be hers as a senior."

When high school is over for her, Jessica doesn't plan to stop leading. She'll enlist in the Army after graduation to help serve her country, fulfilling a longtime goal. But given what's at stake this weekend, it's hard for her to focus on anything else except preparing for St. Joseph's.

"We've worked on our defense and our offense, that's really what we've been doing all week," said Evans. "Our defense and offense, practicing different defenses and stuff."

Latta plays in the Class 1A State Championship Game at Colonial Life Arena on Saturday against St. Joseph's. Tipoff time is slated for 11:00 a.m.

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