Sun's Davis: A man of many positions

Bobby Davis has made a successful switch to slotback this season. - Fred Schaad/Contributor
Bobby Davis has made a successful switch to slotback this season.
— image credit: Fred Schaad/Contributor

In his four-plus seasons with the Okanagan Sun, Bobby Davis has seen the football field from a few different perspectives.

After previous stints at both quarterback and defensive back, the 22-year-old West Kelowna product will close out his junior career in 2012 at the slotback position.

And so far, so good in the latest experiment for Davis who has been a crucial part of the club's offensive attack this season with 14 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns.

"So far, everything seems to be going pretty well," Davis said of his move to slotback. "I'm making the majority of my catches, and I already understand the offense from being around it for so long, so I think it's been a good transition. I'm also there to help mentor (rookie quarterback) Cam (Bedore) a little bit, so I feel like it's a pretty good situation all around."

After serving in a backup capacity at quarterback during his first two seasons (2008-09), Davis took over the No. 1 job in 2010, leading the Sun to 9-1 record and a first-place finish in the BCFC.

Only a 16-14 loss to the Vancouver Island Raiders in the BCFC final at the Apple Bowl tarnished an otherwise stellar season for Davis and his teammates.

Reenergized and back to make amends as the starting pivot in 2011, Davis's season was soon knocked off the rails when he broke his left thumb in the club's third game.

Following surgery and wearing a cast, Davis made the move to defensive back and returned to the lineup in Week 5. However, he broke the hand a second time and was out for the season.

Davis fully intended on returning to the quarterbacking helm in 2012, but his career took yet another turn in March when he dislocated his right (throwing) shoulder while playing touch football.

It wasn't long after that—during a stop at B.C. Lions rookie camp—the Mt. Boucherie grad decided once and for all on a switch to slotback.

Not only was the arm not up to its former standard, but Davis envisioned his future in the game taking a different path.

"I just couldn't throw the way I had been, the shoulder would get fatigued easily and I couldn't throw as far," the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Davis said. "So I went to Lions' camp as a receiver and I kind of decided the way to go was as a slotback. The way football is for Canadian quarterbacks, even if you break every record in the CIS, there aren't very many opportunities. If I wanted to go anywhere, I figured slotback gave me the best chance. It was a tough decision to leave (quarterback) but the shoulder injury reinforced that."

From Sun head coach Gavin Lake's perspective, players as versatile, athletic and coachable as Bobby Davis are few and far between.

"He's an outstanding individual who's going to be a success in whatever he chooses," Lake said. "I think this transition has been as seamless as any I've seen. Hopefully we can utilize Bobby the best way we can to help us make the next step as a team.

"I wished I'd had Bobby for four years, he's a special athlete."

While Davis has enjoyed some individual success this season, the same level of prosperity hasn't followed the team as the Sun sits in fourth place in the BCFC at 1-3.

Still, Davis believes there's plenty of time, talent and more than enough will to right the ship.

"There are a lot of new guys here from all over, and the chemistry is still building. Cam (Bedore) and the offense is just going to better. We've already showed we can compete, we showed it in Nanaimo (30-29 loss)…that game just got away from us. Everybody is still confident.

"There's nothing we can't fix and we have six games left to do it."

And while Davis would undoubtedly like to end to his junior days with a B.C. championship, nothing will take the luster off what has been a rewarding five seasons in Sun colours.

"I've seen a lot of players come and go over the years, a hundred guys at camp every year, so I've met a lot of people," said Davis. "I've really enjoyed it and when I look back on it, it's a little upsetting to think it will be over soon.

"But it's not over yet. We still have some games to win."

Davis, who will have two years eligibility remaining in the CIS, hopes to earn a roster spot next season at a Canadian university.

Davis is currently in his fourth year at UBC Okanagan in the human kinetics program.

Davis and the Sun return to action Saturday night at the Apple Bowl when they host the Westshore Rebels. Kick off is 7 p.m.


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