CRANSTON – Like many high school football programs around the state, Davies Tech walks the fine line of using the “Fall II” season as a chance to get the younger players primed and ready for the traditional fall season, while also pushing for a playoff spot.
“I’m looking forward to the fall. We have a lot of kids coming back,” said Davies head coach Henry Cabral.
Expounding upon the here-and-now point, the Patriots weren’t eliminated from postseason contention after Toll Gate dominated Saturday’s Division IV contest at Cranston Stadium. What the 42-14 loss did was place Davies in a three-team group for the fourth and final playoff berth. The way the schedule works, the Patriots will have plenty of say in potentially qualifying in just their second season of existence.
Davies has one league win. So too does EWG/Prout Co-op and North Providence. The Patriots face the Scarlet Knights/Crusaders this coming Saturday (3:30 p.m., Scituate High School) and head to the Cougars’ field for a “Friday Night Lights” contest on April 23.
Since Davies does not have a home field to call its own – Pariseau Field in Pawtucket served as the home base during the Patriots’ inaugural 2019 season – the game against North Providence will serve as the Patriots’ “Senior Day.”
The fact that the Patriots are even in the playoff conversation is a remarkable feather in the cap of Cabral, his assistants, and of course the players. Two Saturdays ago, Davies shut out Hope for the first win of the season and also the first win in program history. The enthusiasm to be part of a ground-breaking interscholastic endeavor is there. Cabral counts 36 players on the roster – a big number in this day and age – with 31 dressing for Saturday’s game.
“They want to play. They want to be here. They work hard,” said Cabral.
At times, that dedication is put to the test. School-wise, Davies is utilizing a hybrid schedule. On Mondays, Cabral elects to conduct practice via Zoom. Regardless of what segment of the alphabet is scheduled for in-person learning, Tuesday’s practice tends to be on the smaller side. The full group won’t come together until Wednesday. Whether the game falls on a Friday or a Saturday, the turnaround can be quick.
“You also have to give them time to work because they might have family obligations,” said Cabral.
The stretch between the win over Hope and the matchup against Toll Gate was accompanied by an uplifting feeling – the kind that goes hand-and-hand with tasting success for the first time.
“The days were definitely a lot sunnier,” said Cabral. “The kids wore their jerseys in school. A lot of teachers gave them compliments. I’m a big believer that school pride can be traced to the athletic fields.”
For complete story and more photos, see Monday's print edition