Rashad Davis is more than just an athlete.
After he graduates from Hobbton next year, he wants to go to Peace College and get a degree in business.
Davis is a two-sport athlete starting for both the Wildcat football and basketball teams and, while he is adamant in saying that school must come first in order for him to be successful, he also gives sports credit for putting him in a position to keep that success within his reach.
“I’ve been playing basketball since I was a kid,” says Davis. “It’s helped me stay out of trouble. I’m dedicated to it.”
That dedication has given Rashad a better athletic ability and the foresight to look beyond high school, but for now, with less than two months remaining until football season, he is focused on the present.
Hobbton finished with down seasons in both football and basketball last year and Davis and the rest of his Wildcat teammates are working to assure themselves that this year will be different.
Davis plays running back, full back, and linebacker on the gridiron and, as a senior, will be looked to as the Wildcat to give Hobbton a boost this fall as they try to bounce back from a tough first-round playoff loss to Lakewood in 2011.
“They’re looking at us too step it up,” says Davis of himself and his fellow seniors on the football field this season. “Hopefully we can make a run further in the playoffs this year. “
Davis’s first love, however, is basketball.
He started playing basketball as a child and, ever since, he has pushed himself to be his best on the court.
After the 2011-12 Wildcat squad finished with a below-.500 record, Davis and the rest of his teammates will be looking to have a bounce-back year starting in November. In his final year of high school basketball, Rashad knows much of the weight will be on his shoulders when the time comes.
“We’re going to do better,” said Davis of this year’s basketball team. “We have some new guys coming in but we have a lot of seniors. We’re going to have more leaders.”
Rashad doesn’t hesitate when naming a professional basketball player whom he looks up to.
Lebron James, he says, plays with the same aggression and focus that Davis, himelf, strives to have on the court.
Success, though, has eluded Hobbton basketball for the past few years and Davis knows what it will take to get the program back at the top.
“Hard work, dedication, and team work,” he stresses.
Davis also acknowledges the carry-over effect a successful football season could have on the basketball team. With many athletes on both squads, and now sharing the same head coach in Jeff Byrd, Rashad thinks a winning season on the gridiron could have a major impact on how the basketball team starts and finishes.
“Hopefully (the football team) can make a run deeper in the playoffs,” he says. “That boosts the basketball players up. It gets them excited for a good basketball season.
“It’s mainly football around here. If we have a good football team then everybody will be focused on basketball (come December) and we’ll play hard.”
But while Davis’s main sport may be basketball, he would give anything to be a part of success on both teams.
“I’d do whatever it takes to win both,” he says on either teams state championship hopes.
After high school, Davis considers attempting to become a college athlete. It’s clear, though, that he has his priorities straight.
“I need to keep my grades up,” he says, “focus on school first. Off campus I can focus on getting stronger.”
While Davis can look beyond basketball towards his future, Rashad gives the sport credit for keeping him on a straight path and helping him mature.
He may prove basketball to be his outlet towards success.