Davis achieves goal in signing with Catawba
Not everyone is cut out to be a goalkeeper in soccer. It takes a special kind of person who is willing to stand in between two metal posts, fending off shot after shot and bodies flying through the air and on the ground.
East Davidson’s Adam Davis loves every second of it.
“Honestly, you have to be kind of crazy to put your face in front of the ball and take the punishment that some of them do,” said Davis. “I love it. I love flying around back there and making saves. I like to command the field back there and communicate with my defense.”
He loves it so much that he made it a goal of his to play that exact position in college. There was one school in mind he wanted to play at and his quest to get there began to take shape before his junior season. With no goalie coach at East to help him improve at the position, Davis attended camps and taught himself through game experience. His improvement was evident by his elevated level of play, but he still needed a college coach to notice him. That came this past season when the Golden Eagles visited perennial power Salisbury.
That night, East suffered a 4-0 loss, but as EDHS coach Paul McIntire put it, “It could have easily been 40-0” without Davis guarding the cage.
What was a loss for the Eagles turned out to be a win for the senior. Davis was under attack most of the night and was able to frustrate Salisbury’s players with more than 30 saves. Up in the stands just happened to be a soccer coach from Catawba College, the exact institution he set out to attend. On Monday at East Davidson, Davis completed his goal, signing a letter of intent with the Indians.
“I could tell this is definitely something that he wanted,” said McIntire. “His junior year he had a spark there and you could tell he wanted it. He is the true meaning of a kid that is willing to put forth the effort. His passion for the game has grown a lot and he has gotten tremendously better. This was his goal and the college that he wanted.”
An All-Conference performer, Davis had the tools early on to be a great goalkeeper. He had great hands, could punt the ball well over midfield and had good instincts. What he lacked was footwork. Though very athletic, he needed better movement and improvement on his diving. After many hours of staying after practice and attending camps, Davis was finally the total package.
“I realized footwork was the biggest asset of a goalkeeper. That is when I really started seeing my game take off to new levels.”
Much like a catcher in baseball, a goalie sees the entire field. It is a job that gets noticed for both good and bad.
“You are either the hero of the game or the zero of the game,” said McIntire. “That is a hard position to be put in and we threw it upon Adam to be in that position. Being back there he is able to see the whole field and he is able to become that leader we needed to have back there.”
Catawba has a couple of senior goalies lined up for next season, so there may be limited game action available. Whether he sees a majority of the playing time or not, Davis wants to get the most out of practice not only for himself, but for others sharing the same position.
“I want to challenge them as teammates to get better and I want to make them better,” he said. “I want to get the best out of myself every day and get the best out of them.”