PDT Sports Contributor
When it comes to building a good high school sports program, many coaches will tell fans that the key to having a successful team in any sport is to build through the feeder programs that surround your school system.
That is the plan that Scott Davis will continue to enact at West as the former junior high coach and varsity assistant will be taking over the reins for the Senators’ basketball, after former head coach Travis Bradford resigned his post earlier in the year.
The Senator community is far from new to Davis, who was once a great student-athlete for the Senators himself before graduating from West in 1980. Davis never looked back from that point on and joined the family business as he began working for the Roger W. Davis Funeral Home in 1985, where he continues to work today with his wife, Leicha.
During his time at West, Davis has also contributed greatly to the West Portsmouth school system. In an article written by PDT Staff Writer Wayne Allen, Davis started the West Portsmouth Youth Basketball Association in 2007 to allow West to play other basketball teams throughout the Tri-State area.
His association then bought the old West Portsmouth Middle School building on 13th Street and turned the aforementioned facility into the West Portsmouth Youth Sports Complex, which has housed various sports programs in the community and allowed for the continued development of the feeder programs that the Senators have in place.
The former West graduate now moves on to a new challenge as Davis will take over the Senators’ high school basketball program, which has had its share of struggles over the past few seasons. However, Davis relishes the challenge of continuing to build upon what has been put into place at West by Bradford, and says that he is looking forward to coaching the players with which he has already developed a previous relationship with.
“I coached a lot of those kids when I was a junior high coach, and getting to coach them again is a great feeling,” Davis said. “We’re really excited for the season to start.”
Davis says that learning under Bradford was “a great experience” and said that the former East and West coach harped on the fundamentals of the game more than anything else.
“He is such a fundamentalist; he knows so much about the game of basketball,” Davis said. “It was like you were going to school every day that you went to practice with him, you always learned something new from him. I think that one of the biggest assets that I have was getting to coach under him for at least one year, anyway.”
Fundamentals will be the key to the 2014-2015 season for West, as Davis will have just two starters back from a team that finished with a 9-14 overall record last season, including a 2-11 mark in conference play. Michael Hafer (a consistent double-double threat), Christian Martin, and Austin Bricker all graduated from the school in May, with Hafer and Martin leaving to join the Kentucky Christian University Knights.
However, Davis’ son, Michael, and Steven Irwin are back and could prove to be one of the best one-two punches in the SOC.
“It’s exciting with (the current members of the team) coming back,” Davis said. “We’re going to be very young; we only have three players with varsity experience, but I think that the kids that are coming up from JV will fill the void that has been left behind. I think we will be very competitive (next season).”
As for the goals that Davis wants to accomplish while at West, he says that continuing to build the basketball program is at the top of the list.
“My goal for West is to keep the basketball program going in the right direction and to keep getting better and better every year,” Davis said. “That includes working with the younger kids and getting them ready for high school and just working through the whole system to try to make the program better here at West.”
“… Coach Bradford was on his way with doing that, and we’re really on a uphill swing right now with that goal.”
With the season growing closer, Davis wants his players to be excited for the season and to look forward to competing in the SOC II on a daily basis.
“I want them to be enthused and to look forward for the season coming up,” Davis said. “We went to a team camp at Ohio University, we played in a summer league and had a great summer as far as our workouts were concerned. I think the enthusiasm is there, so I think that when the season rolls around, they’re going to be ready to jump in and play.”
Note: PDT Staff Writer Wayne Allen contributed to this report.