TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kittanning's Davis handles double duty

- Kittanning senior Blake Davis executes an onside kick during practice on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.
Kittanning senior Blake Davis executes an onside kick during practice on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.
- Kittanning senior Blake Davis kicks off during practice Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.
Kittanning senior Blake Davis kicks off during practice Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports
Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, 12:16 a.m.
 

At Kittanning's football practice Thursday afternoon, senior Blake Davis aimed for the uprights.

That night, he stood under a set of them at Deer Lakes' multi-purpose stadium and guarded a soccer net.

This is Davis' final fall of double sports duty. A three-year starter at kicker in football and at goalkeeper in soccer, he's a valuable asset for both teams. He remains undecided about which sport he'll pursue after high school. For now, he's savoring the opportunity to split his time and attention.

“It's a different atmosphere with each team,” Davis said.

He dabbled in football and soccer during his formative years. Soccer started earlier — he estimated that, by age 4, he'd started playing at the YMCA.

Davis stuck with soccer as his only fall sport until eighth grade, when the urge to try football — and be near his friends — became too great to ignore. He stopped playing for his travel soccer club, Northern Crew, at age 12. Instead, he became Kittanning's quarterback.

Oddly enough, Davis didn't kick much for the eighth-grade team. And when he did, he used the straight-on method, which Davis referred to as the “toe-ball” style.

Indoor soccer kept Davis in touch with the sport during the winter of his eighth-grade year. But the ensuing fall, Davis returned to the gridiron.

Speed and a bit of arm strength made Davis a functional quarterback. But he lacked size as well as a passion for football's violence.

During the winter of his freshman year, Davis tried out for a different travel soccer club, Northern Steel, and made the team as a goalkeeper. Around the time Davis joined Northern Steel, Colby Owen served as a coach within the organization. Owen, now Kittanning's coach for a third season, did not work with Davis directly, but he heard about the goalkeeper through his cohorts.

“I sort of had a good pulse on the players from this area who were playing for that club,” Owen said. “Fortunately for him, we were in need of a goalie when I first started. And fortunately for us, he was certainly able to fill that role.”

Davis joined Kittanning's soccer team as a sophomore but found a way to stay involved with football — kicking.

“In ninth grade, I didn't really kick,” Davis said. “But then I worked on it over the whole summer, with no formal training at all. I just went and did it.”

Each of the past two seasons, Davis earned all-section honors as a goalkeeper. Those accomplishments failed to offset the frustration Davis felt as he watched the Wildcats struggle in obscurity, managing five wins in two years.

Kittanning's football team hardly fared better in 2010 and '11, winning one game each season. But at least people filled the stands.

Fans can create pressure, however. And kickers, much like goalies, rarely get attention for good reasons. Davis' double duty begs the question: Which situation is more stressful: a crunch-time field goal or a penalty kick in a tie game?

The senior sided with the former of the two choices.

“If I make that, I'm like the hero,” Davis said. “If I miss it, I'm the worst kid ever. But they're both equally tough as far as mental pressure goes.”

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at wwest@tribweb.com or 724-543-1303 Ext. 1321.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Man dies in North Buffalo fire
  2. Steelers’ defense unfazed by noise, believes in potential
  3. Pirates pound Padres for 7th consecutive victory
  4. Penguins notebook: After reinterpreting rule, draft pick sought for Bylsma’s hiring
  5. Overhaul possible for West Mifflin’s Century III Mall
  6. Dormont man missing since Wednesday found dead at Station Square
  7. Juvenile status hearing, trial delayed in Franklin Regional stabbings
  8. Former Ford City superintendent charged with killing family member in Texas
  9. Kiski River searched for possible missing kayaker
  10. Decline of Christian America
  11. Starkey: NHL playoffs suddenly sublime