Davis among seniors crucial to Wright City’s turnaround

John Rohlf, Sports Editor
Posted 11/3/22

Wright City senior Jeremiah Davis is one of several football seniors who have keyed the Wildcats’ turnaround.

After winning only one game last season, Wright City won four of its first five …

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Davis among seniors crucial to Wright City’s turnaround


Wright City senior Jeremiah Davis is one of several football seniors who have keyed the Wildcats’ turnaround.

After winning only one game last season, Wright City won four of its first five games this season. Davis has been a key contributor in all three phases for the Wildcats. Through seven games this season, Davis had 324 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns. He also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns on special teams. Davis also starts at linebacker and had 25 solo tackles, along with two fumble recoveries, one interception and one sack.

“He is a tremendous asset to our football team,” Wright City football coach Tyler Rickard said. “He’s really stepped up this year. He just does a good job of being a vocal leader. And he does a good job of being a vocal leader when needed but always being a leader by example. He’s just somebody we can rely on.”

After playing the running back position growing up and early in his high school career, Davis shifted to wide receiver this year. Davis said it was a pretty smooth transition to a new position.

“I’ve actually moved around a lot,” Davis said. “My first ever position I played was running back because they saw I could run. So they just threw me back there and said run the ball. But then, after that, they moved me to receiver because of my size.”

On the field, Rickard stressed the qualities Davis brings to the Wildcat team. He cited Davis’ versatility. Davis has played multiple positions over the course of his high school career.

“He’s a guy that we can move around and find multiple ways to get him the football,” Rickard said. “And he’s a guy that when you give the ball to him, good things are going to happen. He’s going to slip a tackle and he may take it 100 yards. Or he’s a guy that’s going to make a few guys miss and at least get positive yardage out of a play that maybe didn’t look like it was going to.”

Davis also has moved around on the defensive side of the football. Davis has played cornerback, outside linebacker and hybrid safety over his high school career.

Rickard said it was clear when Davis was a freshman that he had the skill set and the tools to be a quality player for the Wildcats. Since then, Davis has developed into a better football player. Rickard said Davis not only got bigger, faster and stronger, but his football IQ also improved.

“He’s just grown leaps and bounds in so many ways from his freshman year to now,” Rickard said. “It’s been so encouraging because he’s put in a lot of hard work. I’m just really proud of him and really happy for him.

After last season’s 1-8 campaign, Davis and the other Wildcat seniors led the way for Wright City’s resurgence this season.

“It’s our leadership,” Davis said. “Last year, our leadership wasn’t that great. We had multiple seniors that gave up on us. This year, we’re all family. We’re working together. We’re talking to each other. A lot better communication. And we set some ground rules. That’s on the coaches.”

Davis said the senior group was extremely motivated to improve on last year’s one-win season. The work for this season started over the summer.

“We came out not playing around in the summer,” Davis said. “That’s when we started too. We told them we were not going to play around this season. And that we weren’t going to give up on the underclassmen too.”

Rickard believes Davis and the other senior leaders on the Wright City football team were key to the Wildcats’ turnaround this season. They started leading in the offseason, with Davis and multiple other seniors always in the weight room in the offseason. Rickard added Davis and the other seniors are setting a tone for the rest of the classes.

“Obviously wins and losses, we’re making memories,” Rickard said. “But they’re going to set a precedent and affect the future of this program in more than just their wins and losses but by that leadership. And that’s what I’m excited about. They’re going to be able to look back, 10, 15 years down the road. We helped get that thing going.”

After football season, Davis’ high school athletic career will continue. He also stars on the Wright City track and field team. Davis participates in the 100 and 200 meter dash. He also competes in the 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 relay races. Davis has his sights set on qualifying for the state tournament.

“I plan to go to state,” Davis said. “We probably would have gone last year but I had to go to Florida. That was so tragic. This year, no vacations. We’re going to state. I’ve got the same people on my relay team as last year. That’s going to be nice.”

Wright City track and field coach Fred Ross noticed in Davis’ first season on the track and field team last season that he wants to win for both himself and his teammates.

“He just has another gear,” Ross said. “He just competes so well and works really well with those kids in the relays with him. That’s just the competitiveness he has. When he gets close, he’s got a second gear.”

Davis believes his experience running track has helped improve his speed on the football field. Ross also sees football helping his performance on the track.

“He’s just gotten stronger,” Ross said. “With football, he’s in the weight room over the summer. So he’s doing a good job with that. And that’s just going to help him. That strength’s just going to help. I expect better things this year out of him.”