TENNERTON – First-year Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis welcomed approximately 60 players to the first day of camp on Monday at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.
“Sixty is a pretty good number for day one,” stated Davis. “You always lose one or two and we might have one or two stragglers come in late. I think anything over 55 is a good number for a Class AAA team.”
Davis said this first week will be a continuation of where his team left off with their summer flex days and practices.
“It will basically be a repeat of our first week during our three-week period,” remarked Davis. “We will go back and review what we went over a short time ago. We will rinse and repeat that. Obviously we will have some new guys here this week so hopefully they can catch on quickly as they watch the guys in front of them.”
Davis said he was pleased with how his summer practices went with the team, despite dealing with a learning curve of a new coach and system.
“I thought things went really well,” said Davis. “The guys learned what we wanted them to learn and how to do things. I feel they got better each day and that is what you are looking for during the summer months. As far as the learning curve, they are doing a really good job with that. How we call plays and how we communicate will be different on offense. The defense will be similar as far as getting plays in but there will be a different scheme. They have picked up everything very well.”
Davis said that every spot on the team will be open as the Bucs go through their preseason.
“They better come and earn it every day or they will lose their position,” commented Davis. “Nobody is guaranteed anything. We will play the best player and that could change on a daily basis. As coaches, we will evaluate our players on a daily basis. If a player isn’t performing, the player behind them will get more reps.”
Davis said his transition from the Kanawha Valley to Buckhannon has been smooth.
“My family and I officially moved into our new home this past weekend,” stated Davis. “So there is a lot of work to be done there. I appreciate all the help from the community and assistant coach Buffy Johnson on helping us with the move.”
The Bucs are coming off a pair of one-win seasons in 2019 and 2020. For Davis to turn the program around, he sees it as a work in progress that will occur on a daily basis.
“It will be an every day thing,” remarked Davis about turning the program around. “Every day in practice you are playing a nameless and faceless opponent. We have to prepare to be the best version of ourselves. If it’s Bridgeport, Ripley or whoever is on the schedule that week, it doesn’t matter who we are playing, it matters how we execute. If you win enough snaps you win the game, that is how my mind thinks. Every snap has a life of its own. You win that one, then go to the next one and win it. You can’t let the previous ones dictate how you perform on the next snap. Just win the play that is in front of you.”
The Bucs had a perfect day weather-wise for their first day with temperatures in the mid 70s for the late afternoon practice.
“We are ready to rock and roll,” said Davis prior to the first practice on Monday. “This is fun. Everything is back to normal thus far compared to last year. That of course can all change, but we are going to enjoy the normalcy of today.”
The Bucs will begin their 2021 season Aug. 27 hosting Bridgeport.