HELENA — After 30 years Helena High’s Scott Evans stepped away from the Bengal football program in December, but Saturday’s Montana East-West Shrine Game gives him the opportunity to get back on the field as an assistant coach.
This will be Evans’ third time as a coach in the Shrine game.
“I've D coordinated it twice before, in 2004 and 2015. So this is my third go around in it. So it's, it's been a great honor. Just in fact, I played in ‘88 too, as well. So I've had a lot of opportunities to be down here. And I've been down here every year. I think I haven't missed the shrine game since 1976,” he said.
As a testament to his 30 years of coaching at Helena High, they have the largest representation on the team, as well as Sentinel High, with five players (Kaden Huot, Chase McGurran, Marcus Evans, Forrest Suero, and Josh Goleman).
“I think it's what our coaches do in our program. I love the fact that we're successful at the same time. I have to give credit to all my assistant coaches all these years, and the program itself with support from Helena. So, you know, to have people praise their kids by giving the honors that they have, that's an opportunity, the hard work that they put in,” Evans said.
This game holds special meaning because Evans will be used as the linebackers coach. His son, Marcus, plays linebacker.
“I'm very close to my son already. But then I get a chance to coach him again firsthand and be a position coach finally again with him. That adds even more to it,” he said.
Marcus will head to the University of Montana in the fall, where his older brother, Zac also plays football, meaning Evans has a lot more football to watch in his future.
“I love the game so much that I don't think I'll ever be that far away from it. So we'll see what kind of happens over the next couple of months and kind of go from there,” he said.
He even admits that seeing Helena High practice without him is hard to swallow.
“I watched them practice the other day, they had a little spring stuff, and I was leaving my classroom and I kind of drove by the field a little bit faster. I try not to slow down, you know, and it's been tough, and this week's brought me back to football again. It’s never about football. For me, I love football. And you know, my sons appropriately said that most of my family members are trying to guess how long it's going to keep me out of football. I don't know how long that's going to be.”
Saturday’s game time is set for 7 p.m. in Great Falls at Memorial Stadium.