Bobby Davis has no objections to some good, stiff competition for starting jobs on the Okanagan Sun—even when one is his own.
Davis heads into the 2011 B.C. Football Conference campaign as the Sun’s No. 1 quarterback, but he does have some company.
Jeremy Joseph, a former member of the St. Francis Xavier X-men, has given the coaching staff a viable option at the pivot position.
“I’ve always been a competitive guy, so I welcome that little extra push from someone else,” said Davis, 21, in his fourth season with the Sun. “It makes you take every rep seriously, keeps you on top of your game, and I have to be. It’s my spot to lose.
“Jeremy knows his stuff and it’s good to have talent like his at camp. It makes for better competition and makes the team better.”
Davis took over the the starting job last season and literally ran with it. In addition to passing for 2,757 yards and 23 touchdowns, the Mt. Boucherie grad rushed for 506 yards and five touchdowns, while leading the Sun to a 10-2 overall record.
Joseph, who hails from Winnipeg, played two seasons at St. FX, but was injured for much of the 2010 campaign.
The 6-foot, 185-pound Joseph showed up at Sun camp fit and ready to go, and has impressed the coaching staff with his ability to both throw and run the ball, as well his understanding of the offense.
And while the incumbent Davis will get the call for the Sun’s season opener Sunday in Kamloops against the Broncos, head coach Jason Casey said having two capable quarterbacks fighting for time is a situation any team would jump at.
“We’ve got two studs, two guys like that are competing for one position and that’s an insane problem to have,” said Casey. “I love the fact that each week we know No. 1 or No. 2, whoever is in the game, our offense is clicking on all cylinders. Depending on our opponent and the quality of week of practice each guy had, it’ll probably be interchangeable all 10 weeks of the season.
“Bobby’s 1A, J.J.’s 1B. They know that, they both see the talent in each other, they work with each other and they’re helping each other’s game.”
Like Davis, Joseph views the Sun’s quarterbacking situation as a healthy competition.
And whether Joseph is the backup or starter on any given day, his main objective will be to help his new team win.
“I’m here to try and help this team get over the hump, in whatever role I can,” said Joseph, 21. “From my understanding, there’s only one team we really struggle with and that’s Vancouver Island and that’s what I’m focusing on.
“Bobby’s a great runner and very athletic and I know he’s the guy right now,” added Joseph. “We have a good relationship and I don’t think either of us are selfish about this. It’s what’s good for the football team we both want. I know I’m going to get some playing time. I think if we can get Bobby and I on the field at the same time, that’s a way we can really do some damage.”
Whoever runs the offense expects to have a reasonably deep receiving corps comprised both returnees and newcomers.
Experience will come from the likes of Dan Turek, Mike Friend, Tommy Howes, Ben White and D.J. Weber—a group that gives Davis a degree of added confidence heading into 2011.
“I have that one season under my belt now and I know a few of these guys pretty well, I think that will help,” said Davis. “I know Danny (Turek) and I are getting on the same page now, our chemistry and timing as a group is better. I think we’ll be able to trust in one another and have some success this season.”
Among the newcomers in the receiving crops with post high-school experience are David Risko, 21, who played last season at Jamestown College in North Dakota, and Sam Meschishnick, 22, a former member of the Saskatoon Hilltops.
The Sun will meet the Kamloops Cowboys on Sunday, 5 p.m. at Hillside Stadium.
Okanagan’s first home action is Saturday, Aug. 6 vs the Langley Rams.