Known for his leadership, his commitment to detail, and his strive for perfection, 2007 Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee Ray Evans was considered a formidable football opponent during the late 1950’s at Branford High School.
As a running back, defensive halfback, and punter, Ray was a three-year varsity letter winner. In his junior year, tonight’s inductee played for fellow Branford Sports Hall of Fame inductee Dominic Cote (1992) and was a teammate of 1991 inductee Jack Cirie and Tom Murray (1992). On an undefeated team, which won the Class “M” State Championship and Housatonic League titles during the 1958 academic year, Ray scored three touchdowns. Branford outscored its opponents, 184-30, allowing Derby, Lyman Hall, Southington, Shelton, and East Haven six points each. Ray was part of the defensive unit which posted four shutouts, versus North Haven (25-0), against Seymour (14-0), 13-0 to Cheshire and facing Amity, a 33-0 landslide win.
The following year, Branford continued its winning ways as the Hornets extended its winning streak to 17 games before the Yellow Jackets of East Haven spoiled a perfect season (12-9 loss). In 1959, Branford defeated Derby (12-6), Shelton (14-6), Lyman Hall (22-6), North Haven (24-0), Cheshire (20-18), Seymour (20-14), West Haven (20-8), and Amity (28-6). Ray led the Hornets in yards rushing, pass receptions, all purpose yards, scoring, interceptions, punting yards, and return yards. Tonight’s inductee was one of the top four in the state in four offensive categories and was presented the “Outstanding Player” trophy by his teammates. Ray also played baseball as an outfielder for the high school baseball team.
Following high school, tonight’s inductee attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy Kings Point and played tailback and defensive halfback on the football team. He was one of two players who lettered as a freshman. He led the team in interceptions and punting.
Ray was a Lieutenant/Second Officer in the United States Navy/US Merchant Marine and received an Honorable Discharge during the Vietnam War.
Working as a Business Consultant, Ray resides in Longwood, Florida with his wife of 33 years, Jackie. He is the father to daughter, Jennifer.