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Pinecrest Academy's Evan Kane signs with Rhodes College
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Pinecrest Academy senior Evan Kane, second from right, signed Thursday to play college at Rhodes College. Photo by Derrick Richemond

By Derrick Richemond

Evan Kane signed his National Letter of Intent on Thursday, committing to Rhodes College in front of family, friends, teammates.

“It feels great. I had a lot of ups and downs through this whole process — a lot of injuries that I had to come back from and I had to deal with,” Kane said. “I’m so happy to be signing for Rhodes and to be continuing my career with my brother, who I lost my last year with due to COVID, and it’s really special for me to share the next two years with him."

Evan's brother, Brendan Kane, is a sophomore at Rhodes College and was the Region 6-1A Private Player of the Year in 2020.

Kane said his parents inspired him to work hard on his craft and to become the best player he could be. His father, Chris, told him when he was in sixth grade that he could be better at goalkeeper than any other position.

“My dad continued to support me and train me almost every night. My mom drove me everywhere, and she sacrificed so much to get me to where I am today. She took so many hours out of her day and out of her life to drive me all over the country so I could play and practice at the highest level,” Kane said.

The team environment at Rhodes College convinced Kane he can excel in their program.

“Every player was so close, and it really feels like a family there and I love it," Kane said. "When I went up there to visit with my brother, his friends, the team, the whole coaching staff was so welcoming. I can't wait to spend the next four [years] there."

Late in the first half of Pinecrest's 3-1 playoff win against Heritage-Newnan on Tuesday, the Paladins committed a foul, which triggered a penalty kick against Kane. But Kane dove to his right to knock the ball away, preventing Heritage-Newnan from scoring and taking any momentum into halftime.

“Couple of practices ago, we practiced PKs and I didn’t so hot," Kane said. "I got a lot scored on me in a row, and the team let me hear it. Then we practiced PKs the night before the game, and I saved about eight or nine in a row, and I let them hear it. It felt good to show everyone what I had, and it was a really big confidence boost for me to help me know I can keep my team in this game and help them to win this game."

With Pinecrest advancing, the Paladins will host Providence Christian Academy April 26 after the Storm beat Savannah Country Day 3-1.

“Our mindset is to play as hard as we can," Kane said. "We got to believe in ourselves, because we played this team before. We know how we play, so we have to play for each other and play for the name that’s on the jersey."