By Gary Curreri
Always looking for a challenge, Coral Springs’ Calvin Davis believes he has found one as he was recently named the new football coach at Blanche Ely.
“This is a great opportunity to lead a very good storied program,” said the 38-year-old Davis. “They have a rich tradition, so they always have great athletes.”
Davis, who most recently worked as offensive coordinator at Deerfield Beach, led nearby Monarch High to a 26-8 record with two playoff appearances and a district title during his three years with the Knights.
“We are going to try to implement some of the same things we did at Monarch,” Davis said. “We will run a fast tempo offense. We will have a flying around, aggressive defense. We just want to score a lot of points and we want to do it fast.”
“We will probably run a no-huddle, spread offense,” Davis continued. “We are going to try and score as fast as we can.”
Davis was at his alma mater Deerfield Beach the past two years as offensive coordinator where he helped lead the Bucks to district titles under coach Jevon Glenn. Deerfield Beach reached its first state semifinal since 2007 last season.
Davis succeeds Carl Wilburn, who was in the job less than a year after the Tigers went 3-6 and missed the playoffs for the third time since 1999. Nakia Jenkins coached Blanche Ely’s football team for two years before stepping down after the 2015 season, when the Tigers went 2-9 but still made the playoffs.
“The school and I had a meeting a couple of weeks ago,” Davis said. “It was a mutual interest and I think both parties understood what they were looking for. Ely wanted to get back to prominence, and I was just looking for a better situation.”
“They have always had great players, so you know what you are getting into,” Davis added. “It is all about changing the culture there and getting the athletes to stay there and not leave.”
He is looking forward to working with the community and knows the task will be difficult because of the high expectations that come with the territory.
“We are going to embrace the community and winning helps a lot,” Davis said. “We are going to invite the community in to see how we are doing things so they are comfortable.”
Davis becomes the Tigers’ ninth coach in 14 seasons since Steve Davis (no relation) left the program in 2003 – one year after guiding Blanche Ely to its first and only state title in 2002. Calvin Davis said he is always open to college coaching opportunities. However, he said the Ely job was one he couldn’t pass up. Davis is a history teacher and is well aware of the history at the school.
“I think if I go in and do the things the right way, the kids will come back,” Davis said. “We want them to come back home and play for their community.”
His first head-coaching experience came at the now-defunct Zion Lutheran School in Deerfield Beach where he went 8-2 and 7-3. He also served as offensive coordinator at Coconut Creek, Ft. Lauderdale and Deerfield Beach High School.
Davis said he is a better coach than when he started at Zion Lutheran.
“You can’t beat experience, and that taught me a lot,” Davis said. “It taught me a lot about coaching. It taught me about interacting with administration and parents. I think I learned a lot from the first opportunity and used that the second time.”
Davis, who begins practice on April 24, returns eight players on defense and two to three on offense. They will play in a three-team district that also includes St. Thomas Aquinas and Ft. Lauderdale.
“We respect every opponent and we fear no one,” Davis said. “We like our chances. I guarantee we make the playoffs this year and, if everyone buys into what we are trying to do, we can go pretty far.”
Pro-Beach Soccer Returns
The 2nd annual Beach Soccer Tournament is returning to Pompano Beach on April 1-2.
The South Florida Youth Soccer Association continues to offer the event to promote the sport of beach soccer to its members and all those wanting to participate. Registration is available at http://proambeachsoccer.bonzidev.com/home.php.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 415-308-0603.