Entering just its third year of varsity football, Davidson Day has been remarkably successful. After an undefeated junior varsity season three years ago, the Patriots have won two straight state championships, going a combined 22-3.Last season was punctuated by a now-famous 104-80 victory over Harrells Christian Academy before the state championship victory, in which quarterback Will Grier threw for a national record 837 yards.According to head coach Chad Grier, it was the defense that won that pivotal game last year, and it will be the defense that really helps the Patriots this year.After all, Harrells had averaged scoring 82 points in its three games before the 184-point affair, so in a way, Davidson Days defense shut them down.Last season, the Patriots started two freshmen and six sophomores on defense, leading to a lot of size mismatches. But after summer workouts and another year of experience, that may not be true for much longer.Those guys got tons of experience; theyve gotten a lot bigger, faster, stronger in the weight room, said coach Grier.We had 160-pound linebackers taking on senior guards (last year). Our kids were fighting their butts off, but giving up 60 pounds a man sometimes. Its tough. I think the right intensity was always there. I think now its going to be intensity with confidence and a little more lead in the britches to finish plays.Offense starts with QBThe defense may be the biggest reason to look for the team to improve this season, but the Patriots will compete for another state title because of Will Grier.Will Grier enters the season as the third-best quarterback recruit in the nation, according to Rivals.com, and the 29th-best overall recruit. Last December he committed to play at the University of Florida.The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior finished last season with 324 completions in 414 passing attempts for 5,785 yards. He set a state record with 69 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He also ran for 813 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 attempts.Grier may have a bit of trouble topping those high marks, though, because the team has lost three of its top four receivers Aaron Seward, James Young and Evan Gates who combined for 3,804 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns last season.The biggest loss we had was the three receivers, said the coach. Now this year weve got 10 guys that all can play, but we dont have any that have stepped up to the level that any of those three have. But all of those are pretty dang good: Theyre playing in college.4 have played 4 yearsThe team expects seniors Jordan Brown and Mike Stevens to step up. Those two, along with Will Grier and Lamar Briggs, form the first group of Patriots players to play for the program for four years, a relationship that should serve them well.Its pretty cool for those four guys that started this thing, said the coach. For those guys to start it, stay with it, and taking us where we are now is pretty dang cool.With a likely improved defense and the return of its star quarterback, Davidson Day is in prime position to compete for another state championship.
Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2013
NCISAA: Davidson Day could challenge for state title again
Davidson Day Patriots Last season: 11-2 overall; NCISAA Division 2 champions. Coach: Chad Grier (third year, 22-3 career record). Returning starters: 15 (six offense, nine defense). Key players • QB Will Grier: Rivals.com ranks 6-3, 190-pound senior as the 29th best recruit in the nation. • DB/WR Michael Stevens: 6-foot, 182-pound senior ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash; has offers from Kansas State and Kentucky. • RB/SS Jordan Brown: 5-9, 165-pound senior led team with 2,184 all-purpose yards, 28 TDs last year. LB/TE Lamar Briggs: 6-1, 215-pound senior plays three sports and is committed to play baseball at Temple.
2013 Schedule Aug. 23 at Albemarle Aug. 30 North Raleigh Christian Sept. 7 at Providence Day Sept. 13 at Harrells Sept. 20 Community School of Davidson Sept. 27 at Marvin Ridge Oct. 11 Charlotte Country Day Oct. 18 Metrolina Christian Oct. 25 at Charlotte Latin Nov. 1 at Victory Christian
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