If it’s Thursday morning, Sara Evans must be praying. And since today is Thursday (Oct. 17), I know just where she is. She’s with her friends in Alabama, praying for the safety of her son Avery and all of the other eighth grade football players.
“We have a mom’s prayer group that gets together every Thursday morning, and we pray for all the boys. Because of the concussion aspect of it, it’s serious business,” she told me when we caught up at CMT’s Nashville offices earlier this week.
We were talking about all seven of the kids in her blended family with her husband Jay Barker. She said all but one of the kids play sports, so the Evans/Barker clan stays very busy going from game to game.
And you can tell how proud Evans is of her oldest son Avery, 14.
“He’s playing football, and he is having a great season,” she said, beaming with pride. “And he will absolutely play in high school. Are you kidding? His stepfather is Jay Barker!”
You might recall that Evans’ husband Jay is a former University of Alabama quarterback.
But you can also tell that with Evans’ pride comes the worry that her son will be injured on the field.
“It is scary, though,” she said. “He got hurt last week in the game. Everybody was getting up from the pileup, and I was looking at all the jerseys, and I didn’t see No. 32. I was like, ’Son of a gun. He’s down.’ And so he was down for 30 seconds, and it is not a good feeling.”
Evans is hoping his size (already 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds) and his appetite (“I will make fried chicken for dinner, and he will eat five pieces”) will keep him safe.
“I think he’ll be fine,” she said. “I talk to Jay’s mom about it all the time. Because Jay has some horror stories about things they say to you and things they do to you in the pileup. So at least Avery can be prepared for that — because of Jay.”