INDIANAPOLIS — When the Super Bowl kicks off on Sunday, many Ben Davis Giants will be rooting for the Cincinnati Bengals.
That's because one of their own will be playing in the big game.
It's early in the day at Ben Davis High School, and the weight room is going strong, with over 70 football players taking advantage of the offseason, developing their muscles and thinking about their futures. And they are surrounded by reminders of what they can achieve.
Chris Evans was a major part of the Ben Davis program and helped them win a state title in 2014. He's a special talent, and this Sunday, he'll play in the Super Bowl for the Bengals.
Kevin Vanderbush helped get him there. He's been in charge of the school's strength program for 38 years.
Evans left his mark at Ben Davis. His old strength coach loves seeing graduates reach their dream.
"It's more enjoyable when you see somebody like Chris, who was that rare individual who was very talented, yet was the hardest worker," Vanderbush said. "He loved the weight room, worked hard in it and made himself into something special."
Evans played college football at Michigan. He autographed a jersey to help inspire others. It's on display at Ben Davis.
"Even on his jersey we have hanging in there, he wrote that, you know, when I was here, I was looking at those jerseys, hoping someday mine would be up there like that," Vanderbush said. "So I think when our kids see the history and the tradition and see where people can go that start here, I think it motivates them to set goals for themselves."
It's a great motivator for all the younger players, especially sophomore Drew Evans. He's beaming with family pride because his big brother is in the Super Bowl.
"I'm going to the Super Bowl, I'm just going to stay in the hotel. Sit back and just chill with my family," said the younger Evans. "Watch the game from the home screen. I don't think I could go to the stadium. Too many people. I expect so much great things from him. I think we'll go home with a win. I won't be satisfied until he wins, you know."
You can bet there will be other Ben Davis Giants cheering on one of their own.
"I know that he'll take advantage of any opportunity he gets, but being that it's his first year, I know he won't have as many as he will probably have in the future," Vanderbush said. "But I also know he's the kind of locker room guy that's going to make people better, just by being around him."
From humble beginnings in the Ben Davis weight room to the biggest game of his life, watch out for No. 25 in the Bengals uniform. He's ready for the big stage.