Jeremiah Davis has had three years to impart his coaching style on his players at Herndon. It’s long enough that his upperclassmen have gotten to know some of his go-to phrases to shout during practices or from the sideline during games.
His newest assistant coach sounds just like him, players say.
“No, I sound like him,” Davis said. “I learned everything from him.”
Davis recruited longtime Annandale Coach Dick Adams out of retirement to join the Herndon staff and work with the offensive line this season.
Adams won back-to-back state titles in 1993 and 1994 with Annandale and helped Davis win second-team All-Met honors as a defensive end in 1999.
When Davis left West Potomac to take over at Herndon a few years ago, he tried to coax Adams to join him on the sideline.
“I really wanted to, but I couldn’t make the full commitment,” Adams said. “It wouldn’t be fair to anybody if I couldn’t do it full time.”
Just come to a few practices, Davis told him. So he did. Adams started working with the offensive linemen, and after the season Davis asked again. And again. Last season, Adams came to one practice each week.
And finally, when the year ended, he agreed to come aboard.
“I always asked him, ‘When are you coming out? When are you coming out?’ ” Davis said. “Well, now is the time.”
That’s somewhat of a tradition for Annadale football alumni, to come back and coach at their alma mater, or at least in Fairfax County, Davis said.
Annandale Coach Michael Scott played for Adams in high school, then coached with him as an assistant. When Adams retired, Scott took over the program.
“I grew up and playing at Annandale High School was everything. Everything,” said Adams, 56, who is an Annandale graduate himself.
Coaches then were teachers, he said, “career educators.” Now with the commercialization of high school sports, that’s not always the case. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing, he said, but having a program with coaches who have been in their players’ shoes is both a throwback and a major benefit.
“Most of us, we went away to college and all we wanted to do was play football,” Adams said. “And you spend the first couple of years just getting by and not worrying about it, and then you realize what you have to do. To come back if you have a relationship with your coach and school, and to come back and teach and coach with them, that’s awesome, that’s something special. But you have to have that respect and that relationship.”
With Adams, Davis certainly did. Since Davis was 15 years old, when he joined the varsity team at Annandale, he hasn’t gone a week without seeing Adams or talking to him over the phone. Adams came up to watch Davis’s home games when he played college ball at Penn State. Before they reunited again this season, the two spoke on the phone before every game.
“It’s like we haven’t missed a step since I was 15,” Davis said.
The Big number: 61
Northern Virginia player of the week:
Keeney threw for 515 yards and six touchdowns as the Hawks offense continued to soar in a win over Washington-Lee. Keeney, also a baseball player at Hayfield, completed 72 percent of his passes. Behind his arm, Hayfield (3-1, 1-0 Conference 6) is averaging more than 48 points per game.
McDaniels back on track for South County
After a Week 2 loss to Westfield, South County quarterback Jack McDaniels is on a tear. The senior has thrown for 605 yards and nine touchdowns, plus another rushing touchdown, in the two games since.
Among his favorite targets is junior wide receiver Dillon Spalding. He has four scoring grabs in the past two games and piled up 171 receiving yards in the No. 16 Stallions’ win against West Springfield on Friday.
South County (3-1) will face T.C. Williams on Saturday.