During his time running the Wing-T offense, Shane Davis knew the benefit of running misdirection football plays.
This past Sunday, Davis had a little misdirection used on him. Under the guise of helping long-time coaching colleague Matt Sorrells, Davis was driven to Apalachee High School only to find the lunchroom full of family, friends, current and former players and other colleagues as they gathered to honor the coach for his decade at The Chee.
A clearly emotional Davis would eventually address those who gathered Sunday afternoon to honor a coach and man they admired so much. “I really appreciate this,” Davis said. “There are so many faces here I haven’t seen in a long time. People have driven far to be here for this. It has been an unbelievable ride the last 10 years.”
Davis spent the next couple of hours visiting people who attended recalling past games and memories.
“It has taken a few weeks for me to fully realize all the good that has happened here,” Davis said. “The last two years have been tough on all of us. However, football is just like a phase of life you go through. The bad times don’t last forever. I appreciate everyone who has stuck with us.”
The event was spearheaded by JoLynn Miller, Kevin Morris and Sorrells. As guests arrived Sunday each was asked to write a “Thank You” note to Davis. Framed pictures and other items were presented as gifts to the man who guided AHS football to its most successful season in program history.
Davis will long be remembered for the 2009 region championship season which included a perfect regular season and a trip to the state quarterfinals. The Wildcats hosted three state playoff games that season.
Davis said he still plans to continue coaching, but has nothing lined up as of yet for the 2015-2016 school year. He said he will continue teaching at AHS during the upcoming semester.
Davis went 48-59 during his tenure at Apalachee although the program had gone 12-38 before his arrival.
The Wildcats’ four state playoff trips all came under Davis’ guidance. AHS went to state in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The team just missed going to the playoffs in 2010 and was in contention until the final game of the regular season. His teams won four playoff games during that span.
Davis had previously worked at several schools as an assistant including Monticello, Elbert County and Oconee County prior to being named head coach for the first time at AHS.
“There will always be so many good memories of the years we’ve coached here,” Davis said. “The players, the assistant coaches, the parents and everyone involved has made this a special place for me.”
Also during his time at AHS, the school has won several state weight lifting championships and is expected to be a contender again this winter.