By Scott Spruill
Yakima Herald Republic
Two years ago there was only one sophomore in the CBBN who earned all-league honors on offense and defense, something not easy for a 10th-grader to do at the 4A level.
Last year the conference saw only one junior selected as either first- or second-team both ways, and it was the same player.
Davis' Ivory Evans-Kimble is entering his third season as one of the most physical and versatile talents in Valley football and in other seasons.
It's not surprising.
Here's a kid with a high-rev motor, stands 6-foot-2, weighs 220 pounds and has track speed. That explains why he's a rebounding force in basketball and runs a leg on the Pirates' 4x100 relay.
But while Evans-Kimble is always headed to or coming from practice he's also someone who appreciates a kid's life, especially those with challenges. Returning from a Young Life camp in Oregon just before fall practice started, he was excited to help steer young kids in that direction.
"It's an opportunity to get kids involved in something and I'd like to help with that," he said. "Sometimes kids get into some bad things and something like this gives them a different way. Kids need that, I think."
Evans-Kimble was also in Oregon this summer for Davis' team camp, where he saw a young group that he must now lead as a senior. To that end, he will contribute all over the field.
After a late call-up for special teams as a freshman, Evans-Kimble immediately took on a dual starting role at tight end and defensive end as a sophomore. Tight end requires a very specific set of skills that usually take time to develop but here was an exception.
"I got the spot (as a sophomore) because I'm quicker than most linemen and big, but not too big," he said. "It does take time to figure it out and I'm still working on it, trying to get better with my hands."
Evans-Kimble spends a great deal of time blocking but he's also caught 31 passes for nearly 400 yards in two seasons and last year he scored two touchdowns.
But that size and speed is best employed at defensive end, where he enjoys playing most and is most likely to get collegiate attention.
"I've played there since Grid Kids and I love it," Evans-Kimble said. "I like the discipline and responsibility with it. You have to hold the corner, and it takes a lot of strength to handle those big linemen. I like that challenge."
After all that physicality on the grass and turf, Evans-Kimble will quickly transition to the hardcourt and be a senior leader in basketball as well.
"Moving from football to basketball has been hard for me," he concedes. "It takes a while to adjust and I missed the first game last season. But I love being on teams and that's why I do three sports. As a senior I'm looking forward to it even more."