One might find it remarkable that Shawn Davis has rushed for 1,634 yards this year. After all, that puts him on a pace to exceed 2,000 yards for the regular season. But the fact that he shares the primary rushing duties with Western
Brown teammates is nothing short of mind-boggling. Davis is averaging a
ridiculous 13.8 yards a carry in 15 attempts per game and has added 24
One might find it remarkable that Shawn Davis has rushed for 1,634 yards this year.
After all, that puts him on a pace to exceed 2,000 yards for the regular season.
But the fact that he shares the primary rushing duties with Western Brown teammates is nothing short of mind-boggling. Davis is averaging a ridiculous 13.8 yards a carry in 15 attempts per game and has added 24 touchdowns.
A bit of math would indicate that he could be approaching 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns on the ground in 2008 if he was the only kid getting the ball slammed into his gut.
He’s not about to complain because all is well. Western Brown has steamrolled through its first eight games undefeated and is ranked seventh in its Division II region. Two more victories and the Warriors should clinch their first playoff berth.
So what’s a few hundred yards in comparison to making history?
And, anyway, playing football for the Warriors means more to Davis than just playing football for the Warriors.
“I love the game and I love the people I play with,” says the 5-foot-9, 200-pound senior. “And that’s just as important as my love for the game. I’ve known these guys since seventh grade and we do everything together. We’ve been through a lot together.”
Davis has helped his teammates through a lot, particularly on the field. He rushed for about 1,100 yards as a junior and set a goal for 1,800 this year that he should shatter if he remains healthy.
“I set my bar pretty high,” he says. “That gives me something to work for.”
One reason for Davis’ ungodly statistics is that he often breaks off huge chunks of yardage at a time. He broke off several long runs in a 290-yard rushing performance last week against tough Bethel-Tate. In fact, he has exploded for 12 carries of 50 yards or longer than season.
“I think Shawn’s best quality is his unwillingness to go down,” offers Warriors coach Don Sizer. “He’s had several touchdown runs of 60 yards or more and he broke at least two or three tackles along the way on each of them.
“Shawn is very shifty and fast and strong and he’s very hard to handle when he has the ball. And he’s quicker than people think he is. He can cut quickly both left or right and he knows how to get into the open field. There’s no question that he’s deceptive in the way he runs. He’s thick-legged, but he’s a lot faster than people think.”
Sizer is impressed with Davis’ work ethic, particularly in the weight room, and the fact that his senior is goal-oriented. But Davis speaks little about personal accomplishments and aspirations when asked about his high school football experiences.
Instead, he prefers to praise his offensive line for his achievements and the rest of his teammates for the time and effort they put in as they prepared for this season. The senior-laden Warriors were obviously ready to make their first playoff run from the moment the first football was snapped in the opener. They have averaged 40.5 points a game and have scored at least 28 points in every game this season.
“During the offseason, we worked harder than any team I’ve ever seen,” Davis says. “We worked so hard because we have 20 senior starters, so we knew we had to be ready and we couldn’t afford to get hurt. We have about 70 kids, but everyone else is real young. We’re only starting three or four underclassmen.”
A lack of size has precluded any opportunity for Davis to take his talents to Division I, but he is open to playing Division II or Division III football and studying to become a personal trainer or nutritionist. And Sizer adds that he will do whatever it takes to get his senior running back into a college program.
“Shawn can help anybody’s team,” Sizer says. “I played small college football myself and I know that he can play.”
His opponents know it as well. They’ve been watching Davis run over, around and through them all year long.