Davis excels for NHS track

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Natchez High School sprinter and long jumper Jeremy Davis does a practice sprint at the school’s track Monday morning. Davis said he attributes his track success to hard work and dedication. (Ben Hillyer \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Natchez High School track star Jeremy Davis started out following the leader, but ended up becoming one of them.

Davis started running track in seventh grade, thanks to others influencing him to try it.

“All my brothers and friends were good at it, and I got good at it. After I did, I kept doing it,” Davis said.

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Davis runs the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, and also competes in the long jump. This year, he’s placed in the top 10 in each category in all the meets he’s participated in, including several top five finishes, he said.

“Preparing for it and working hard is what’s made the difference,” Davis said.

And hard work is something Davis’ head coach Larry Wesley said has always stood out about Davis.

“He’s dedicated to the job, works hard, and has a great attitude,” Wesley said. “He’s someone I never need to worry about. I’ve never had an argument with him or anything, he just works hard every day.”

Davis said the hard work he puts in during practice makes things easier for him during actual track meets.

“I want to be the fastest on the field. I don’t want anyone to outrun me,” Davis said.

“If you practice hard, it just feels easier (at the meet). You won’t get as tired when you’re sprinting, because you’re sprinting the whole way. If you don’t work, you get tired.”

Wesley said consistency in Davis’ workouts are what allow Davis to excel at meets.

“I think the most important thing is, he’s at practice every day,” Wesley said. “Also, he works with other kids who would normally give up and go home. It’s a pleasure to work with him. He has a good work ethic, and he tries to be better than the best.”

Wesley said he has a theory about what pushes Davis to work so hard.

“He’s so short, that’s what makes him try to be better than the best,” Wesley said. “He’s an outstanding long jumper. Last year he was No. 1 going into the state meet, and he finished third or fourth. He jumped (approximately) 22 feet at our most recent meet.”

Davis said he started doing the long jump his junior year to fill the void left by other NHS long-jumpers graduating.

“I wasn’t really good at it before my junior year,” Davis said. “There were older guys who were better than me, but when they left, I felt like I had to step up. I’m surprised I’ve done as well as I have in it.”

Davis also played cornerback for the NHS football team, and signed with Copiah-Lincoln Community College. But if a track offer comes his way, Davis said it would be hard to turn down.

“Co-Lin doesn’t have a track team, but I’ll sign with another school (for track) if I get the opportunity,” Davis said.