WPIAL Alum Q&A – Heather Davis
Tuesday, March 8, 2016 | 12:10 AM
Playing four sports in high school is a tremendous accomplishment, while playing two sports at the college level is equally, if not even more impressive. Heather Davis achieved both of these feats during her time at Ford City High School and Waynesburg University.
While at the now defunct Ford City, Davis starred in basketball, as well as golf, volleyball and track. On the hardwood, she was a four-year letterwinner, and earned all-section distinction as a senior in 2011-12. That season, she helped guide the Sabers to a 16-7 mark, including a playoff bid in Class AA. Additionally, she was named the MVP of the Cager Classic All-Star Game.
Upon the conclusion of her prep career, Davis elected to attend Waynesburg, where she played both basketball and golf. On the links, she participated in her freshman and sophomore years. Meanwhile, as a member of the Yellow Jackets basketball team, Davis played in 27 games as a freshman, including seven starts. Her contributions were limited, though, as she became acclimated to the college game.
The following season, Davis made considerable strides, as she started 23 games, and increased her scoring average by more than 4 points per game (7.9), and bumped up her rebounding marks by more than 2 per game (4.6). Additionally, she shot particularly well from behind the arc, converting nearly 40 percent of her attempts on 3-pointers.
As a junior, Davis started all 27 games, and produced nearly identical statistics to her sophomore campaign, as Waynesburg finished with a mark of 15-12 for the second straight year.
This season, Davis turned in her most impressive campaign, as the senior averaged just shy of 10 points per game and more than 5 rebounds during her 29 starts. While Davis set several personal bests earlier in the season, including 16 rebounds against Penn State Behrand in November and 23 points against Washington and Jefferson in early February, Davis saved her best for last. She scored a career-best 28 points, and snagged eight rebounds in the Yellow Jackets’ upset victory against McDaniel in the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference South Tournament. Three days later, however, the Waynesburg season and Davis’ college career came to a conclusion in a loss to Stevenson University.
Heather took time from her day to answer an array of questions about her two-sport career in college, as well as her thoughts on the Armstrong merger, and who she would most like to meet.
Q: Your scoring and rebounding averages were very similar each of the past three seasons. How were you been able to produce at such a consistent level since your sophomore year?
A: I guess I just shoot when I feel as though I am open and have a good look at a bucket. I also like to look for that open player with an extra pass when the opportunity is there. It’s just a matter of playing as a team and having that mindset to win games together.
Q: What is your greatest attribute as a player?
A: I believe that I am a very passionate player. I HATE losing and will do what I can to try and avoid that outcome. Sometimes I may take things too seriously, but it is all because I want to win. I am very passionate about the game and have grown such a love for it over the past 14 years of playing on a team.
Q: Waynesburg alternated lengthy winning and losing streaks this season. What led to such an up and down campaign for your team?
A: I believe that when we were winning, we were playing together as a team and we all had the same goals in mind. Not that we didn’t want to win when we were losing, but it was more like everyone was playing individually and not as much like a team. Once we figured out our problems, we were able to get back on the winning track and finish business.
Q: Did you set any personal goals for your senior season, and were you been able to achieve them?
A: I did set some personal goals this year, and the main one I wanted to focus on was rebounding. I wanted to be a better rebounder to help the team out. I believe that I had highs and lows in trying to accomplish this goal, but I think that I did better this year than I have in previous years, so that was a positive out of it.
Q: What is your best memory from your basketball career with the Yellow Jackets?
A: My best memory is probably just all the tournaments and trips we have had as a team. The one that sticks out in particular is our trip to Canada last year. Not only did we get to play against two Canadian teams while we were up there, but we also got to sight see and ride on the “Maid of the Mist” under the falls. It was a great experience with both the men’s and women’s teams.
Q: You also played golf for a few years at Waynesburg. What was your experience like in that sport?
A: Golf is such a different atmosphere as a sport because it is more individualized in accomplishing your goals. It makes you really rely on yourself to do well and it helps with motivation because if you are in a slump you have to pull yourself out of that to do well. You can’t rely on others to try and help you, because you have to play your own game.
Q: Do any particular performances stand out from your time on the golf team?
A: It was such a relaxed atmosphere and everyone was pretty easy-going. The one moment that sticks out in particular is one match when it was freezing cold outside and our coach, Scott Venick, was driving around and we all had asked him to go get us hand warmers because it was so cold. We all had also told him we were just not going to finish the match, but that had no seriousness at all. That just goes to show how relaxed it really was. We still were able to bond on the rides there and get to know each other that way.
Q: In addition to playing two sports at Waynesburg, you played four sports in high school. How did you manage to juggle your time and keep the right mindset?
A: Honestly, I didn’t know what to do with myself when I wasn’t playing a sport in high school. It became more of a lifestyle than anything, and without it I was lost. It was weird not having all four sports after my senior year of high school. I believe that it helped me grow as a person and build me into the person I am today. When I was in season, I felt like I needed to really keep my grades up and focus more than when I had all that time on my hands.
Q: What was your reaction to the closing of Ford City and the formation of Armstrong?
A: It was weird to see Ford City close because that is where I spent six years of my life, whether it was for sports or school. It was neat to see my sister graduate from there as the last graduating valedictorian. I will forever remember that, because it leaves a special place for me; it is more personal than anything. It also makes it special because not only did my sister and I graduate from there, but my mother did, as well. I think Armstrong is a nice school, but for me it is just weird to see that because I was so used to the two separate schools.
Q: What was your top high school memory?
A: My top high school memory was probably getting to play with my sister in two sports. Although I sort of took it for granted at the time, I wish we were able to play an entire season together. We started out playing volleyball, but on the second day of practice I broke my leg so I didn’t make it back until the last two games of the season. Then, once basketball came around and I was back, my sister sustained a stress fracture of her leg and that kept her out for the rest of the season. Looking back now, I wish we could have played an entire season together because I believe that we could have made a great team and done some great things.
Q: What is your favorite class at Waynesburg?
A: My favorite class at Waynesburg is a pretty tough question. I would probably have to say any of my athletic training classes because, despite how challenging they are, it is something I really enjoy and love to learn about. As far as other gen-ed classes, I am going to have to go with either of the classes I had with my roommates, Maura and Lauren. People think that if you spend too much time with people you will hate it, and in some cases this may be true, but not for us. Yes, we have our moments, just like any group of friends, but we know how much we will miss this, so we try to make the best of the time we have together here.
Q: What is your ideal future profession?
A: My ideal future profession I am still not really certain of, but right now I am looking into going to grad school for education. This would allow me to teach health and physical education or even health and then still be able to practice athletic training. I have also been thinking about coaching, but not sure about where or what exactly yet. Those are just some ideas in my head that I have for now.
Q: What is the best advice you could give to an incoming college freshman?
A: My best advice to an incoming college freshman is don’t wish your time away. I never believed anyone when they said it flies by, but it honestly does. It seems like just yesterday I was packing up to leave and come to my first day of college, but here I am, less than two months from graduation. It is insane; not something I would ever think would happen so fast. Also, don’t be afraid of change. It is okay to change your mind on what you want to do. I wanted to go to physical therapy school up until August before my senior year of college. Things change, just get out there and explore before you choose something you want to do the rest of your life. Enjoy your time in school – yes get good grades – but hang out with your friends and have a good time as well! ?
Q: What is your favorite movie or TV show?
A: My favorite TV show has to be One Tree Hill. We began binge watching it here at Waynesburg my freshman year while we were here on winter break, and it was so addicting. I never actually finished it until this year, though. I started it all over from the beginning and then watched all nine seasons in a matter of a month. It is a great show.
Q: If you could meet anybody in the world currently, who would it be?
A: This is such a hard question for me because honestly I have no idea. I am going to have to stick to a sport’s side of things and say Coach K from Duke. I am a huge Duke fan and I believe that he is such a great coach and I would just want to get some inspiration from him. How does he do it? What is it like to acquire so many wins? How do you overcome the dips you have with your team? Just talk general conversation, as well.
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