South Whidbey girls basketball players Megan Drake and Morgan Davis deal with similar pressures.
They both take it upon themselves to be leaders and role models on and off the court, whether it be through their play or their academics. They also work hard for the approval of their head coach, Andy Davis, who is also Morgan’s father. There’s a simple reason for both.
“We’ve all invested a ton of time in helping the girls be successful and they trust that we just want what’s best for them,” coach Davis said. “Because there’s trust, they feel they’re being nurtured and guided in an appropriate way, they want to please us and at the same time, we don’t ever want to walk into the gym not ready to please them.”
“It’s just one of those things. It’s like a family. You don’t ever want to let your family down,” he added.
Thanks to a tight-knit group of girls and a constant drive to compete, said coach Davis, the Falcons are 5-6 overall and 3-3 in the Cascade Conference. Though the head coach said none of the girls are content with their current standing, it’s a testament to how far the team has come. The Falcons won just five games last season. Drake and Morgan Davis provide a unique dynamic on the Falcons squad that has helped in the success.
“There’s going to be girls that look up to us on and off the court and I think that’s important because we want to be good role models,” Drake said. “I think we put pressure on ourselves to be that way.”
“What you do on and off the court is just as important and how you are as a person is important,” Morgan Davis added.
Drake and Morgan Davis are just two cogs on a spinning wheel, but it’s their work ethic, attitude and determination that makes them stand out,” coach Davis said.
“They both compete the right way and they both are the ultimate team player,” Davis said. “They try to benefit the team as best as they can and it has nothing to do with personal glory, it’s ‘What can I do to help us be more successful?’ And that’s starting from minute one at practice to game time.”
Though they share similar personality traits such as wanting to be good role models or excelling in the classroom, the girls’ roles on the court differ.
Drake, a junior, has become a defensive force for South Whidbey, often being matched up with the opposing team’s best player. She also has the ability to rack up points on offense. Drake scored 18 points in the Falcons’ 63-29 victory over Granite Falls on Jan. 5.
Morgan Davis plays aggressively and isn’t afraid to draw a foul if she needs to. As the lone senior on the team and only three-sport-girl athlete in the school, Morgan Davis fills the role of a leader with her outgoing personality and all-encompassing attitude. Drake said that she and Morgan Davis have grown closer over the years and that she’s always looked up to her.
“I think that would be very difficult, because I’m sure she puts a lot of pressure on herself,” Drake said. “But, at the same time having a lone senior like Morgan is the best thing you could ask for because that’s what helps our team stay close. Having a senior that is super inclusive and happy and excited about things, it makes it so much easier to have a close team.”
Drake and Morgan Davis first started playing together competing in recreation leagues while growing up. They continued playing together through the middle school and high school ranks. The pair committed themselves during the offseason, often training three times a week by exercising in the weight room or shooting hoops in the gym. It was during last spring when Drake and Davis trained the hardest together.
“I think we both wanted to put in the time,” Drake said. “It’s so much more helpful when you have someone to do it with.”
That didn’t stop the pair from having some fun while they worked hard, however.
“In the mornings, there were a few times where we would just be so drained and we would just get the medicine balls out,” Drake said. “We were hoping Andy wouldn’t walk in.”
Coach Davis credited the girls for not only their work ethic in regard to basketball, but also their work as students.
“They’re academic giants. It’s one of those things where I don’t know if their test scores are paying out for them in terms of that, but their effort in every single class is maximum effort,” coach Davis said. “They challenge themselves in difficult classes, they work hard and are diligent workers. They manage their time really well for young kids.”