Defensive lineman #91 is thrilled to be back in the game


Photo courtesy of College of the Desert Athletics. 2021 COD Football Roster.

On July 6, 2021, for the first time in nearly two years, Gavin Davis, along with most of his teammates at College of the Desert, was on a football field preparing for the fall football season. Davis like the rest of the world had a wrench put in his plans in early 2020 when the world shut down due to the  COVID-19 pandemic. Now a sophomore preparing to graduate in the spring, Davis and his teammates are glad to be back on campus and are adapting to the ever-changing state and county mandates.

I spoke to Davis coming off of the team’s most recent win 44-21 against Los Angeles Valley College and asked about how this season has been different than the rest of his life and how difficult it has been for him and his teammates to adapt, “Well, I’m just happy we were able to pull out a good, hard-fought victory at our first home game. The last year and a half have been difficult for all of us and our coaches have put in so much work along with the players to keep up with mandates and still get better.” Gavin said that their restrictions have not been as severe as at the beginning of the pandemic, mainly emphasizing regular symptom checks using their phones and wearing a mask when not playing on the field.

Photo courtesy of College of the Desert Athletics. Sophomore defensive lineman Gavin Davis #91

After graduating high school in an online setting, Davis knew that he couldn’t use the pandemic as an excuse, not to exercise. After trying different at-home workouts with his brother Sean, they built their weights, bench, and squat rack out of concrete and wood they had lying around. He consistently used those to stay in shape and ready for his next chance to play after many cancelations and delays.

This season has also posed several new challenges to Davis. He has changed his position multiple times and was recently switched from nose tackle to his more natural defensive end spot that he focused on in high school. In their win against Los Angeles Valley, Davis, still readjusting to the change, received limited playing time, closing gaps on a few runs and recording an assist. When asked about his goals, the 6’2 260-pound sophomore said that he would love to transfer to the University of Texas at Austin and hopes to become a mechanic. “I want to get really good with cars, maybe start my own shop someday,” said Davis.

Growing up in La Quinta, Davis was an avid Texans fan idolizing JJ Watt, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. In seventh grade, he signed up for his first season of tackle football with the Junior Knights. After a couple of trips to national tournaments in Florida, Davis played for two years at Shadow Hills High School in Indio before transferring to Xavier College Preparatory before his junior year.  After the change of scenery, he was a two-year starter on the offensive and defensive line, playing primarily right guard and left tackle on offense and nose tackle on defense. Although rarely playing the position in games, Davis focused on developing himself as a defensive end, realizing that would be his best chance to play in college.

Davis, like many, is up for the challenge of playing in a pandemic. When discussing similarities between this season’s challenges and those from before, Davis was confident. “I mean, it sucks doing all of the regulations, but it’s not that bad. I’m just happy we’re in person and not just on Zoom every day. This shouldn’t be that bad. I managed to play my junior year with a broken wrist and hurt back.”

Even though fans have not been allowed in the stands this year, Davis is optimistic about the remainder of the season. “I am improving every day, working hard, playing well and getting a few sacks,” Davis said.

College of the Desert recently announced that spectators would be allowed to watch games in person starting Oct. 1