Like His Brothers, Panthers’ Davis Excels In 2 Sports
Grid Captain Gets Lacrosse Scholarship To BU
By KEN HAMWEY,
Staff Sports Writer
Will and Jake Davis excelled in football and lacrosse at Franklin High. Now, their younger brother Luke is emulating their success in both sports.
Will was a wide receiver in football and a goalie in lacrosse. Jake was also a receiver who played cornerback on defense. In lacrosse, Jake competed at attack. Both were Hockomock League all-stars and captains in lacrosse as seniors, and Jake was a league all-star in football as a senior. Currently, they’re both playing lacrosse in college — Will is a senior at St. Anselm’s and Jake is a junior at UMass Lowell. Will is 21 and Jake is 20.
Luke’s outstanding ability in both football and lacrosse can be traced to his blood lines, so it’s not surprising why Franklin’s football coach, Eian Bain, is a big fan of the youngest member of the Davis family. The 6-foot, 180-pound Davis is a senior captain who’ll be starting his third season at cornerback. And, he’ll very likely get time at wide receiver.
So far, Luke, who’s an attack in lacrosse and a receiver/cornerback in football, is getting high marks — in both sports. Davis, who’s already earned a scholarship to play lacrosse at Boston University, was an all-star as a sophomore at Franklin, then was named the league’s MVP as a junior. He scored 107 points (69 goals, 38 assists) as a sophomore and 136 points (94 goals, 42 assists) as a junior. His two-year totals at cornerback in football are 50 tackles and 5 interceptions.
“Luke comes from good stock and good blood lines,’’ Bain said. “He’s a leader by example, but he talks when he needs to. He’s got great speed, quickness and endurance, and he’s got a high football IQ. An instinctive player, he’s got a good feel for the game. He’s also mentally tough and resilient, never getting too high or too low.’’
Davis, who started playing lacrosse in the first grade, thinks it’s “wicked cool’’ he’s played the same sports as his brothers and for the same two coaches (Bain and lacrosse coach Lou Verrochi).
“I watched both of my brothers play in high school, and I looked up to them as role models,’’ Davis said. “They set the bar high. It’s enjoyable to make comparisons. Jake and I often argue who’s the better athlete, but I’m proud to be following them in the same two programs.’’
When the Panthers’ grid season opens on the road against Wachusett on Sept. 9, Franklin fans will quickly see Davis as an aggressive cornerback and a receiver who relies on finesse on short routes and blazing speed on deep patterns.
“I like to jam receivers and use bump-and-run tactics on defense,’’ Davis offered. “On offense, I try to outsmart the defender. Playing wideout, you can change the outcome of the game on one play.’’
The 17-year-old Davis has his goals in order, both from a team standpoint and from a personal perspective.
“I want to see us win the Kelly-Rex Division title, qualify for the playoffs, then go deep and aim for a Super Bowl win,’’ he emphasized. “Personally, I want to be the best captain I can be and to make five interceptions, which would double the five I’ve had in the last two seasons. I also will strive to be a league all-star.’’
Rating last year’s victory over Mansfield as his best game, Davis also says that being selected a captain and beating Methuen in the playoffs last year are his top gridiron thrills.
“All the defensive backs played well against Mansfield and that win was the first time in 10 years that we had beaten them,’’ Davis noted. “That was an achievement my older brothers didn’t get to experience. Being selected as a captain is a thrill because it showed I had earned the coaches’ respect. And, beating Methuen in the playoffs was cool because it showed we were getting close to playing in a Super Bowl.’’
Davis is optimistic that Franklin’s other senior captains will be major contributors this season. The captains are quarterback Jase Lyons, cornerback Nick Quintina, guard Ben Papa, and defensive end Emmett Lackey. “They’re all quality leaders, and they’re talented at their positions,’’ Davis said. “They’ll play key roles in whatever success we achieve.’’
Davis also rates Bain very high as the team’s leader. “Coach Bain is a great motivator, always getting the best out of his players,’’ he said. “He’s a hard-worker who puts in lots of hours, and he’s a great person who’s well-respected.’’
An honor student (3.6 GPA), Davis likely will major in business at Boston University, where he’ll be on scholarship for lacrosse.
Also including his parents (Kathy and Peter) as role models because of their support and encouragement, Davis relies on an athletic philosophy that focuses on winning and having fun. “The key is to be a strong competitor, and that’s what leads to enjoyment and winning,’’ Davis said. “Sports also teach valuable life lessons, and some that I’ve learned are how to overcome adversity, how to develop mental toughness, and how to set goals, and be a good leader and teammate.’’
A top-notch cornerback last year, Davis helped the Panthers turn in an 11-1 campaign that ended in a semifinal loss to Springfield Central, the eventual State champion. “We won the Kelly-Rex crown,’’ Davis recalled. It was fun, and it was also great to be with a close-knit group of players.’’
Davis knows a deep playoff run for the Panthers is likely again. “We’ve got the talent, the nucleus and good underclassmen to be successful,’’ he said.
And, on a personal note, Luke Davis can rely on his blood lines.