Seth Davis’ last game as Weston Ranch head football coach was a wild one — a 50-46 win at Sierra on Nov. 3.
He’s thankful to have had the opportunity to end his run on the sidelines.
Davis, who endured a midseason health scare, announced last Thursday during the school’s fall sports awards banquet that he has stepped down after five seasons.
Weston Ranch athletic director Jason Furtado likens him to a “Swiss Army Knife” for his willingness to participate in and help oversee various school functions. Davis will remain on staff as a campus monitor as he shifts more of his focus on family and pursuing a college degree.
“He poured his heart and soul into the game for the past five-plus years, and it was all for the kids,” Furtado said. “Whoever will take his place has to realize it’s a 24/7 job and will need to be all in.”
Furtado said the position was opened up Monday and that school administrators are already reviewing applications.
Davis missed five games this past season because of a staph infection. Feeling numbness from his shoulder down to the fingertips, he checked himself into an emergency room immediately after Weston Ranch’s 53-51 victory over Bear Creek on Sept. 8
Davis, 29, was hospitalized for 10 days and nearly had to have his arm amputated. The experience changed his perspective on life.
“That was when reality started setting in,” he said. “I had my 10-month-old daughter visiting me in the hospital. As a father you have to cherish those moments. Being there for my family is the most important thing to me, and I want to make every moment count.”
He has been married to wife Susan for two years, and together they have young daughter, Cadence. Davis is also helping raise step-children Kaiyah, 12, and Tyler, 10. He is pursuing a degree in kinesiology and aspires to teach physical education.
Assistant coaches Dustin Allen, Matt O’Donnell and Nick Ortiz took over the program in his absence. Davis returned to the team for its Week 9 contest against East Union, and about an hour before the season finale at Sierra he found out his offensive coordinator, who had just accepted a new job, could not be there. Davis, who already called plays for the defense, pulled triple duty on his final night. The thrilling win, secured by Andre Baskin-Flemings’ interception in the final minute, is Weston Ranch’s first against Sierra since 2005.
Davis lauded his coaches and players for continuing their hard work through a 2-8 season, much of it spent without their leading figure.
“It was bittersweet,” he said of coaching his last game. “The kids played tremendous and it was a good feeling to go out with an emotional win.”
Davis has coached at Weston Ranch since 2007, first serving as the freshman football coach and an assistant for wrestling. He became the fourth varsity football coach at the school in 2013, following Mike Hale (2008-12), Steve Jackson (2005-07) and John Morris (2004).
Weston Ranch has made just one Sac-Joaquin playoff appearance (2005) and nearly ended the drought under Davis in 2015 when the Cougars, who finished 5-5, lost to eventual CIF State Division IV-A champion Sierra 34-27 in Week 10.
Davis believes his successor will have a talented group to work with next season with junior quarterback Amier Bowen leading the way. The squad ended the season with just one senior starter. Bowen broke his uncle Josh Bowen’s single-season program record for passing yards (2,556).
Although Weston Ranch hasn’t had much success in terms of wins and losses, Davis is most proud of his players’ dedication to the program and academics, which is what he has emphasized the most.
“Before I took over we were losing about 40-45 percent of our kids to academics and we had a hard time (fielding) a freshman team,” Davis said. “This year, I only had two varsity kids and one in the lower levels not make grades. We lost only one percent of the entire program to academics, which is a tremendous change. I hope that can continue to carry on.”