Monday, December 5, 2022

W&M community gathers to remember Nate Evans, the Tribe football payer shot and killed in Norfolk

Carl Fowler remember friend and teammate Nate Evans as "a goofy kid." (Bob Flynn/WYDaily)
Carl Fowler remember friend and teammate Nate Evans as “a goofy kid.” (Bob Flynn/WYDaily)

A short walk from the practice facility where Nate Evans spent countless hours with just teammates and coaches, more than 1,000 people gathered Monday night to celebrate his life.

Evans, a 19-year-old running back from Lee-Davis High School in Mechanicsville finishing his sophomore year at William & Mary, was killed March 21 in a shooting in Norfolk.

Norfolk Police have not released any details about the incident, saying only the matter is under investigation.

W&M President Katherine Rowe, Athletics Director Samantha Huge and football coach Mike London were among those who spoke.

“Tonight, we will laugh and we will cry, and both are OK,” Huge said.

Teammate and close friend Carl Fowler, who met Evans the summer before their freshmen year, did just that.

“I had a joke written about how Nate’s going to be disappointed when he sees how few people were here, but there are so many people here,” Fowler said, looking up at the stands in Kaplan Arena, seeing one side nearly filled with fellow athletes, students and administrators, as well as friends, family members and members of the community.

Fowler recalled Evans as a sharp dresser and “the goofy kid that he was. He was kind and loving, big-hearted, and he was so many other things.”

During the 45-minute ceremony, Evans also was remembered for his passion, spirit, energy, smile and love of tattoos and music.

“You inspired so much happiness and joy and light-heartedness,” Fowler said. “You will live on as that person in our hearts because that’s who you really were.”

A statement from Evans’ family, which was read by friend and football team mom Stephanie Dulaney, mentioned how his mother searched for the right names to give him. She finally decided on Nathan because it means “gift from God” and Andrew as a middle name because it means “strong warrior.”

London, who was named the Tribe’s coach in November 2018, knew Evans for only a few short months, but learned how he lived up to his names.

“Nate was competitive. He wanted the best out of everybody,” London said.

In two seasons on the football field, Evans rushed for 684 yards and five touchdowns. He led the Tribe his freshman year with 476 yards on 119 carries. He was the first true freshman to play at running back for the Tribe since Jonathan Grimes in 2008.

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