Davis makes his mark in Warrior secondary
Over the last year and a half, Drew Davis has been an absolute nightmare for rival offensive coaches to prepare for.
As defensive back for the Happy Valley Warriors, Davis led the Watauga Conference with seven interceptions his sophomore season. In 2004, the 6-1 junior has picked up right where he left off, currently heading the league with four picks.
"A lot of comes down to having a good defensive line putting pressure on the quarterback," said Davis, explaining why he's seemingly always in position for the interception. "Of course, a lot of credit goes to our coaches. They put me in the right places at the right time."
At the end of the 2003 season, Davis, who had entered the year without much hype, was named to the Tennessee Sportswriters Association All-State football team.
"It was unexpected, but it was great," recalled Davis. "I had no idea that it was going to happen. It gave me a target for the next year to work harder. It's a big honor to be All-State."
Although Davis also ranks as the Warriors' top receiver, it is the defensive side of the ball that gets his juices flowing.
"When it comes down to it, I would rather see zero points on the board than scoring a lot," said Davis. "I like touchdown passes, but they happen all the time. Interceptions are more rare."
One positive on the offensive side is the relationship he shares with quarterback Todd Caldwell.
"We have been friends forever," said Davis. "We went to a camp together last summer at Furman. We're always working on our throwing, catching, timing on our routes getting that down."
An area of play in 2003 Davis excelled at was special teams. This season, teams have been forced to take notice of his presence on the field.
"Last year they didn't know I was coming to block punts," said Davis. "This year, I'm finding out that people are keying on me."
Davis is nothing like the old football jock stereotype. Quiet and extremely well-mannered, Davis leads by his play rather than shouting in the locker room.
"I've known him a while and he's not very vocal," said Happy Valley head coach Stan Ogg. "He goes and does his job. There's a lot to be said for that."
A personal goal Davis has set is playing football at the next level. If it doesn't happen, he wants to pursue another dream of going to college at the University of Tennessee, where his older sister, Julie, is taking accounting classes.
The son of Scott and Janet Davis also has a younger brother, Seth. The family is faithful in attendance for games both home and away. They also regularly attend church at Sinking Creek Baptist.
Qualities like intelligence and his willingness to follow orders brings praise from Ogg.
"He's a nice young man and a pleasure to coach," said Ogg. "He's a good football player with a lot of tenacity. He plays awful hard. When he gets between the lines (on the field) he turns it on.
"I've been fortunate to have taught him at different positions he plays. He listens and is very intelligent. You ask him to do something one time and he does it."
Likewise, Davis is quick to share the positives of playing for both Ogg and defensive coach Greg Hyder.
"Coach Ogg works with the defensive backs a lot," said Davis. "He's working on our coverages helping us out, defending the ball. He's been real good to me.
"Coach Hyder being the defensive coordinator, everything goes through him. He's right there and he brings intensity. You can count on him to give a pre-game speech that gets you ready to play."
That intensity is something Davis loved about last season's Warrior team that went 9-1 on the year.
"Last year was just great, a lot of enthusiasm," said Davis. "We had a number of players with intensity, Daniel Dover, Tim Whaley, (Michael) Everhardt, the Whiteheads. The enthusiasm was always up."
This year, Drew says while the team's overall record hasn't been as good, playing with his teammates has been special.
"This year is more about playing with people I grew up with and have always been around since elementary school," said Davis. "I like the companionship this year.
"I like playing basketball and baseball, but I like football the best. It's different in the way that everybody plays together as one team."
An area of interest outside of football that appeals to Davis is flying. Sparked by taking an aviation class at Unaka, Davis now is considering a field of study related to aviation or engineering.
Whatever the future holds for Drew Davis is unknown, but the near future looks pretty clear, a forecast of more interceptions and more headaches for opposing coaches.
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