Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

DHS football team going the extra yard

July 12, 2001

It's 7 a.m. Do you know where your children are?

If you're the parents of De Soto High School senior football player David Davis you do . Davis is probably in the DeSoto High School weight room. Like many of his teammates, Davis typically gets to the school at 7 a.m. and does his lifting before most people begin their day.

"We've done a ton of work in the off-season," Davis said. "And we're looking for it to pay off. When school was still in session we came up here before school and lifted sometimes for more than an hour."

By all accounts, Davis is the definitive "serious athlete." He said the driving force behind his work was the memory of last season. The Wildcats were 0-9 last year, and if it's up to Davis they will be nowhere near that record this year.

"Nobody liked what happened last year," Davis said. "Everybody was here when we were getting beat 73-0 and 74-0. That can't happen this year."

So Davis is making sure it won't. As one of four captains on the team, Davis has had a large role in influencing the rest of the team to work as hard as he does. Fellow captain Jim Stevens said De Soto's captains lead by example rather than with words, and that Davis is a perfect example of that.

"On our team, our captains aren't very vocal," Stevens said. "We lead by example and by knocking people down. I'd say that he (Davis) is more vital to our offense than anything for that, because he's the only player with a ton of experience, but he's a good defensive player too."

Davis plays both offensive (center) and defensive line (nose tackle), and he said he has more fun on the defensive side of the ball.

"It's just more fun going after people," Davis said.

But because he has more fun on defense does not mean that he slacks on offense. Like Stevens said, Davis is the one player with the most experience, and his leadership on the field shows.

"My first year here I was on a 4-5 team, so I know what it's like to win and I know what it takes," the three-year starter said. "It's no secret. It takes hard work."

De Soto defensive coordinator Brad Qualls said Davis was one of the hardest working players on the team and that he comes in everyday and does what he has to do. He also said he thinks Davis is working extra hard this off-season to strengthen the shoulder that he separated last season.

"He separated his shoulder last year, so I think a lot of it is him trying to get the shoulder back into shape," Qualls said. "He didn't miss any games though; he's a tough kid."

Davis made no mention of the shoulder injury, just the same as he made no mention of an excuse for last year's struggles. Instead he's focusing on this year and he's focusing on not needing any excuses this time around.

"For serious athletes there is no off-season," Davis said. "To win you have to work hard it's as simple as that."

So far that mantra has rung true. The De Soto seven-on-seven team finished 8-1 in its league this summer, and made it to the semi-finals of the 24-team tournament.

For the remainder of the summer, Davis will continue to work out and look forward to the upcoming season. Practice begins Aug.t 13.

Until then, you can find Davis in the weight room just make sure you get there early.

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