Davis receives top honor

Published 11:03 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

R.C. Hatch boys’ head basketball coach lives by scripture. He also believes in knowing the fundamentals of basketball. He attributes both and the support of the community in Uniontown to his being named 2A Coach of the Year by the Alabama High School Sport Writers Association.

Recently, Steve Savarese, executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, sent Homer Davis Jr. a letter commending him on his team’s finishing as runner-up in the AHSAA Class 2A Boys Basketball State Tournament in Birmingham.

“In your four years as head coach you have led the Bobcats to three Class 2A state championships,” Savarese wrote, “and now, a runner-up. Reaching such a milestone as a coach is a culmination of many things including outstanding players, outstanding school administration and community support.”

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Davis is humble about his accomplishments. This is not the first year he has received coach-of-the-year honors. He was awarded the designation in 2006 and 2007, was named runner-up in 2008 and then this year received the honor again.

“No one person receives the award by themselves,” said Davis, who lived in Selma for more than 30 years. “So we have many people who support our team.”

Davis rattled off school Superintendent John Heard III and the members of the Perry County School Board; R.C. Hatch Principal Leslie Ford Turner and assistant principal Bettie Jimerson. He thanked the staff and student body for support; the mayor and city council and county commissioners; assistant coaches and staff.

Then, Davis paused.

“We’ve got the best fan club in the state of Alabama,” he said.

Davis said a winning team consists of players who are willing to sacrifice and dedicate themselves to the game. That’s what happened this year, although they didn’t bring home the state trophy. But nobody had them picked to go as far as they did.

“There are seven games in the playoffs,” Davis said. “We played each game as a championship game. They played as one team. They forgot about me and I and thought about we.”

But there’s more.

These high school players were the junior high school players Davis sent up during his tenure as a junior high coach. They know their coach. They know their fundamentals.

In high school, basketball players under Davis work all year long. They work in the spring. They attend team camps. When school begins, they have three or four weeks to get into the academic groove before starting conditioning in the weight room.

“They stay busy year round and that keeps them out of trouble,” Davis said.

See, the key here is not just basketball; its about growth and development physically, mentally and emotionally. Davis hones in on academics. After all, basketball might not take a young man everywhere he wants to go. But hard work will. Davis is a great believer in the basics on the court and the fundamentals of living.

Then, there’s proper attention to the spiritual side.

Davis says, “In all thy ways acknowledge God and he will direct thy path.”