OHIO VALLEY UNSUNG HERO – SHADYSIDE’S DAVIS JUST TRYING TO DO HIS PART TO GIVE BACK
Author: Rick Thorp, The Times Leader
Part of an Ongoing Series in the Times Leader Every Sunday
SHADYSIDE — Bud Davis is carrying the torch.
As an athlete at Shadyside High School in the late 1970s, Davis came to recognize how important the school’s athletics boosters were to the success of the Tigers teams.
Fast-forward about 20 years and Davis had an opportunity to do the same for a new generation of athletes.
“When I was in school, they were there,” he said. “Now, I’m just trying to do my bit.”
That includes being president of the organization.
“I’ve been president of the organization about 15 years … it’s been kind of a blur,” he chuckled.
That’s understandable. During Davis’ period with the boosters, the Tigers have had quite a run of success — in all sports.
“It’s just one of those things where we’re trying to carry the tradition on,” he said.
While athletic success has been a constant in Tiger Town during Davis’ tenure with the boosters, so has the organization’s contributions to the school’s sports teams. As Davis sees it, it’s his job to see that continue, while keeping an eye on how to make the organization better going forward.
“Basically, I just kind of facilitate meetings and things,” he explained. “I run the meetings and we try to keep everyone on track for the events we have coming up. We try to keep all of our ducks in a row.
“Proper planning prevents poor performance.”
That’s the attitude Davis has taken since joining the boosters because he wanted to help with the Shadyside Relays and other events.
“I think it’s very important, especially with an underfunded school system and with a small community, that it takes pride in the achievements of its young people. I think (the boosters) is good for the community.
“The support that is given by Shadyside, by its citizens and its small business community is unbelievable, really.”
Davis points out the support teams receive after winning big games. Many times, teams receive a big escort from fire trucks and what not upon coming home. Davis remembers when the softball team returned from Akron after winning the state championship in 2015.
“We had someone staying with us,” he said. “We had the game on the radio and we said, ‘Take a nap, take a nap, because we’re gonna be be heading downtown in the middle of the night here.’”
That type of support, Davis said, is reflective in the boosters, an organization that he becoming mixed with younger members each year, bucking the trend of others around the valley.
“Things are looking up in that area,” he said.
Because of that, new ideas are being thrown in with the group’s traditional fundraisers. Davis points to a steak fry/comedy night, which has proved popular in recent years, he said.
But the boosters core events remain popular and fuel boys and girls’ sports on an as needed basis.
“We have a good bunch of guys right now,” Davis said. “I just try to keep them focused.”
Although he doesn’t have any children participating anymore (he does have a nephew and a niece), Davis enjoys the camaraderie with his fellow boosters members and enjoys providing the athletes and coaches with the tools they need to be successful.
One thing he’s excited about are the new football jerseys slated to be worn starting this fall.
“Those jerseys haven’t been replaced in a long time,” Davis noted about the project done in coordination with the Football Moms. “Mike Kernik and Sean Grinch, who are coaching for us, wore those jerseys. So, we’re overdue for those. We’ll have a totally new look this year.”
Each school year brings new excitement, and that’s what keeps Davis coming back.
“I just enjoy doing it, and I just enjoy the group of guys that I do it with.
“I haven’t gotten to the point where it’s time to walk away yet. I still think it’s important to do it, and I’m still motivated to do it.”
If you know of someone in sports in the Ohio Valley whom I could feature as an Ohio Valley Unsung Hero, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RickThorp1