Off the Court

Samantha MacNeil, Copy Editor


The Tigers celebrate their 2008 state title.

This past Saturday, the Ephrata boys basketball team was recognized during the state championship game for being named the 2A state academic champions. It was a nice way to end the season for the boys and for Brandon Evenson, his coaching career. Evenson made the decision yesterday that his time as the head basketball coach for the Tigers had come to an end. Evenson led the basketball program at Ephrata High School for the past 18 years. During that time he has had a significant impact on the basketball landscape throughout the community.  Evenson’s career at Ephrata included league titles in 2010 and 2015, a district title in 2008, a third-place state finish in 2010, and the ultimate prize, a state championship in 2008.  He ends his career with more than 250 career wins.  His impact extends beyond just banners hanging in a gym. He has impacted the lives of several players along the way. Current senior Ethan Black explained, “Evenson has taught me lessons that I can keep with me, not only in basketball but in life, just about working hard and pushing myself.”

Evenson was not alone in running the basketball program all these years. He had his family alongside him for the journey. “My wife and kids have also dedicated so much time to let me coach,” said a grateful Coach Evenson. 

Marcy Evenson, Coach Evenson’s wife, is in her 24th year of teaching Spanish at Ephrata High School. She was gracious enough to share some of her feelings about her coach husband. “We’ve been a ‘basketball family’ from before we were a family. The kids grew up in the gym. They took naps in the middle of basketball games. The loud buzzer never affected them. They’d sleep on right through the noise. We always figured out how to be there to support our coaching dad/husband.” When asked if she felt that her husband’s coaching career has brought her family together in a unique way, she responded with, “Absolutely. Our experience is not one that everyone gets. Molly and Landon’s exposure to basketball, to the teams when they were younger, to being the manager for their dad (mostly Molly), to bus rides to games when you’re a young kid. They’ll never forget those. My stepsons, Bailey and Brevin, also developed a huge love for the game because of their dad.” 

Coach Evenson shares a moment with his twins, Landon and Molly, and the championship trophy.

Molly and Landon are the couple’s twins and are currently sophomores enrolled at Ephrata. Molly shared some of her thoughts on her dad’s decision. “I think my dad coaching basketball has affected me and my family more than people think. Every winter, I get to see him about half as much, maybe even less than that, as I would normally do. However, the positive things definitely outweigh the negative for me personally. Managing for him from about 3rd grade to 6th grade was definitely one of the best experiences for me.” Landon added to his sister’s comments, “He has made me more invested in basketball, and now I’m hoping we can spend more time and do more things that basketball stopped us from doing.”  

Molly added one last thought on the end to her dad’s coaching career. “It’ll be sad for me to not have that person in the gym as much as maybe he would be,” she said. But it’ll be cool for him to just focus on watching my games and not have to worry about his games afterward.”

Evenson is grateful for his time as a coach. In total he coached for 30 years, whether that be AAU basketball, his time coaching at Bridgeport or his many years pacing the sidelines for the Tigers. Evenson is proud of the way he ran the program exclaiming, “I am proud of what we accomplished together. I am proud of how I ran the programs!” Evenson knows that he cannot take credit alone for the successes of the basketball program and is thankful for everyone who helped him to build the program up. “Thank you to all the players who worked as hard as they did each year! Thank you to the parents who supported me,” Evenson mentioned. “And thank you to all of you who volunteered your time to help us in one fashion or another. And a big shout out to the Jungle.  Watching them be the best student section and home-court advantage that a coach could ask for is a memory that will last forever.” Evenson was planning to coach until Landon’s senior year, but plans have a way of changing. “It’s really hard to give something up that you put so much time into, but sometimes God’s Plan is not our Plan.”

Evenson is the second head coach to retire this year at Ephrata High School, following the resignation of Jay Mills, the now former head football coach, this fall. Mills resigned in order to spend more time with his family. Evenson’s departure will enable him to enjoy some much-deserved family time. Marcy Evenson is excited about that as well, “We’ve sacrificed summers for summer ball and every Christmas break for practices and games. I hope we actually get to enjoy time away now. I can only dream, well…I guess not anymore huh?”