Davis adds to his growing legacy with victory

WHEELING – Jose Davis has been a part of a lot of victories during his football career.

Whether it was as a prep, collegiate or professional player, Davis was a winner.

That success has followed him into the coaching ranks.

This morning, Davis began a new chapter of his coaching career.

After five years at his alma mater, Bellaire High School, Davis will embark on the challenge of rebuilding the St. John Central football program.

He certainly closed the final chapter of his Big Reds’ career in grand style. After leading Bellaire to the OVAC Class 3A title last season, Davis guided the Ohio All-Star Team to a cherished 27-26 victory against West Virginia at Wheeling Island Stadium Sunday night.

“I am very big on legacy and when people talk about you down the road,” Davis said. “I can’t put into words what winning this game means to me. To be able to win it as a player, and now as a coach, is very exciting for me.”

People still talk about Davis’ playing. Actually, it spoke for itself. And more and more people are starting to realize how quality of a coach he is.

Like all coaches, Davis is demanding. But, he’s also a players’ coach and that was truly evident all week. At the Stager Evening With the Stars, Davis received a standing ovation from his squad when he addressed the crowd.

Davis was the first African-American head coach in the OVAC All-Star Game’s history, which is meaningful to him.

“I am not one to bring up the black and white thing, but I hope I can be a cornerstone for a lot of younger guys who can realize their potential and be head coaches around here,” Davis said.

Three of the Ohio players – Kenny Hess, Brendon Ross and Wyatt Back – knew all about Davis and were honored to have one more chance to play under him.

Others learned quickly what playing Davis was all about.

“I wouldn’t pick anyone over Coach Jose, or any of these players,” said Chris Littell, who actually played for Shadyside, which defeated Davis and Bellaire in Week 3. “This was a great week with these guys. We’ve become friends for life.”

Davis stressed that all week that – as much as he and his team wanted to win – there was more to it than just the outcome. However, the victory makes the whole experience even sweeter.

Davis and the majority of staff will be together at St. John Central this season and don’t think he doesn’t plan to do his best to utilize this victory as a pre-cursor for this season.

“This is going to be a jumpstart for us,” Davis said. “I am excited to get to work.”


West Virginia head coach B.J. Depew drops to 0-2 in the Mumley Game as a coach, but the competitiveness of this year’s event helps ease the sting from the first time he was on the sideline.

“The game itself was much more exciting this time,” Depew said. “We weren’t in it and it felt that way six years ago. It felt a bit like that in the first half, but the kids turned it around and made this a great football game. I am really proud of their efforts.”


Wheeling Park’s Carly Greer was crowned the Queen of Queens winner at halftime. She was joined on the royal court by St. Clairsville’s Lexi Pritchard (Miss Congeniality), St. John Central’s Halli Richards (4th runnerup), Bridgeport’s Maclaine Murad (3rd runnerup), Wheeling Central’s Sarah Howard (2nd runnerup) and John Marshall’s Izzie Keim (1st runnerup).


The majority of the night was rain free, but the threat of ominous weather did keep the crowd down slightly. The game wasn’t interupted or delayed by any weather issues. It rained some at halftime and just as the game was ending.


While it’s become expected, the performance the OVAC McDonald’s All-Star Band puts forth in just a handful of days of practice is incredible. More than 130 musicians come together and play as if they’ve been practicing for months on end. Kudos to the band once again this year.


As the OVAC’s coaching rotation goes, the 2015 coaching gigs go to the top finisher in Class 4A. So, as the season moves along, keep an eye peeled on the standings and you’ll have a good idea who will be guiding the respective states next summer.