Newcomb senior bounces back, aims at state
Shawndale Davis is more than just a high school wrestler.
The Newcomb High senior and five-year varsity wrestler is also a teacher for the younger Skyhawks.
Davis said it’s been a role he was happy to accept but he has quickly learned that it is not easy.
“It’s hard,” he said. “But I’m teaching them techniques and how to get stronger.”
Davis, at 145 pounds, started wrestling for Newcomb when he was in the eighth grade.
Like many others that have come up through the wrestling program, he started the moment he was old enough to join.
Unlike other schools, Newcomb does not have a feeder program, which can make it difficult when coaching.
Newcomb head coach Tom Yazzie said Davis’ willingness to pitch in is helpful considering the fact that he shares the same story as the other wrestlers.
“We have no junior program. The kids start at eighth grade, and he’s one of them,” he said. “As coaches you wish they had a middle school background, even elementary. If that was the case it would help a lot.”
Though Davis did not work his way up through a youth program, he made some noise at the state level, making numerous state tournament appearances.
Davis placed once at state as an underclassman, but missed out on an opportunity to place even higher last season when he suddenly had to quit the team.
Davis suffered from a non-sports related health issue that required surgery in the middle of the season and left him sidelined.
Yazzie said it was unfortunate but Davis managed to bounce back this year as if he had never left.
“He wrestled at 145 last year and he’s doing the same this year,” he said. “I don’t know how he did that. He’s more determined, he’s wrestling better, he’s growing a lot.”