2014 Chico Dragons

HAGEN DAVIS

By Richard Greene

CHICO'S HAGEN DAVIS. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

CHICO’S HAGEN DAVIS. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

For opposing ball carriers there was little escaping the clutches of Chico linebacker Hagen Davis last season.

The Dragons’ middle linebacker piled up 148 tackles, picked off three passes and forced seven fumbles on the way to becoming the 7-A Defensive Player of the Year, Wise County Defensive MVP and a second-team selection at linebacker on the Texas Sportswriters Association’s Class A team.

Those awards are secondary to Davis, who just looks forward to lighting up an opposing running back or quarterback.

“I like to go hit,” Davis said. “It gets all my anger out.”

The football field is also an escape for the busy Davis, who splits his time between the gridiron and raising show cattle.

“It’s waking up, going to school and practice, and then coming home and taking care of the animals,” Davis explains.

On the field, he takes his job at middle linebacker seriously.

“You’ve got to lead everyone and get them on the right track,” Davis said.

He’s also the true veteran on the Chico defense as the unit’s only senior.

Along with enjoying the chance to hit opponents, Davis has extra incentive to get in on every tackle, playing next to his younger brother, Garon.

“My brother plays beside me and pushes me,” Davis said. “It makes me want to be better.”

Davis will play right tackle on offense in addition to his defensive assignment.

“I get a little tired,” he said about the double duties. “But it’s fun.”

Davis’ Dragons are coming off a 6-4 season and hope to end a playoff drought that dates back to 2001.

“We’re going to be a better team. We lost some bad attitudes,” Davis said. “We’ve got a good shot to go far.”

A few big hits from Davis may be what it takes.

STEADY CLIMB

The Chico Dragons posted six wins in the past two seasons but missed the playoffs at the end of the campaign. But it’s been a steady rise for the program in the past five years.
2009: 0-10
2010: 0-10
2011: 4-6
2012: 6-4
2013: 6-4

OFFENSE

By Jake Harris

Entering into his fifth year as head coach of the Chico Dragons football team, Stephen Carter wants to see some improved team chemistry – to him, that’s the key for this team making it to the playoffs.

“I feel like we have the potential to be a good football team,” Carter said. “However, team chemistry and leadership will have to improve if we want to be a playoff team.”

Last season, the team went 6-4, putting Carter’s total record as a head coach up to 16-24. This year, he said, the prospects are looking even better.

“In terms of coaching, this has been the best two weeks I’ve had. These kids are ready to come to work every day. It’s the best start I’ve had in 14 years,” Carter said.

The quarterback battle between Creese Redman and Jericoe McGuire came to an end Thursday night after the Dragons’ scrimmage with McGuire earning the spot. Redman went to running back.

“I felt both quarterbacks were equal and both have handled themselves very well through two scrimmages,” Carter said. “However, Crese Redman makes us a better football team when he is at the running back position. Both will get reps throughout the season.”

McGuire was the Dragons’ starting quarterback last season, throwing for 1,147 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Redman, who played running back last season, was selected as the 7-A Offensive Newcomer of the Year last year. He ran for 696 yards and seven touchdowns.

The team will run a spread formation.

Other key returning players are receivers Kalan Johnson, Cameron Weatherly and Jaston McBee, who put up 396 yards, 22 catches and five touchdowns last season.

“I expect big things out of all of those kids,” Carter said. “Jaston has stepped up and showed me a lot.”

Other newcomers to watch on offense are receiver Derrick Creeks and running backs Cameron Starnes and Stephen Whatley.

Carter said that he expects his toughest opponent to be Era and Alvord.

“Alvord’s always a huge rivalry with us, and we’re always excited to play that one,” Carter said.

FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 … Frost# … Away … 7:30
Sept. 5 … Era … Away … 7:30
Sept. 12 … Dallas Gateway … Away … 7:30
Sept. 19 … Petrolia … Home … 7:30
Sept. 26 … Diamond Hill Jarvis … Home … 7:30
Oct. 3 … Open
Oct. 10 … *Blue Ridge … Away … 7:30
Oct. 17 … *Bells … Away … 7:30
Oct. 24 … *Trenton (HC) … Home … 7:30
Oct. 31 … *Alvord … Away … 7:30
Nov. 7 … *Valley View … Home … 7:30

# at Bedford
* Denotes District 5-2A Div. I game
HC Homecoming

2013 RESULTS

Chico 38, Frost 14
Chico 39, Wortham 0
Chico 47, Coram Deo 18
Brock 54, Chico 0
Chico 43, Gainesville St. 20
Valley View 37, Chico 20
Lindsay 41, Chico 7
Collinsville 53, Chico 7
Chico 64, Blue Ridge 32
Chico 54, Trenton 20

Final record – 6-4

CHICO DRAGONS. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

CHICO DRAGONS. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

CHICO DRAGONS

2 … Corbin Blackwood … 12 … WR/DB
3 … Brady North … 11 … WR/DB
5 … Jastin McBee … 11 … RB/LB
11 … Crese Redman … 10 … QB/DB
12 … Jericoe McGuire … 12 … QB/DB
15 … Kalan Johnson … 11 … WR/LB
21 … Kolton Forbus … 9 … WR/LB
23 … Tyler Alexander … 11 … RB/LB
24 … Stephen Whatley … 10 … RB/LB
28 … Trevor South … 9 … RB/LB
32 … Cameron Starnes … 11 … RB/DL
42 … Cameron Weatherly … 10 … WR/LB
44 … Garon Davis … 11 … RB/LB
50 … Michael Galindo … 12 … RB/DL
52 … Joseph Evans … 12 … OL/DL
54 … Hagen Davis … 12 … OL/LB
55 … JD Parketon … 11 … OL/DL
58 … Cody Armstrong … 11 … OL/DL
60 … Elliot Mercer … 11 … OL/DL
62 … JD Brown … 10 … OL/DL
66 … Tyler Melton … 11 … OL/DL
70 … Taylor Hood … 11 … OL/DL
77 … Michael Rosson … 10 … OL/DL
80 … Jace Hardee … 9 … WR/LB

DEFENSE

By Jake Harris

Chico’s defense allowed 289 points in 10 games last season. However, Carter said that he thinks this squad’s biggest strength is defense, utilizing a 10-1 formation.

Much of the improved leadership he mentioned comes from the brother linebacker duo of Hagen and Garon Davis.

“They’ve both stepped up on the defensive side,” Carter said.

Senior Hagen Davis is the Dragons’ top leading tackler, with 143 tackles, three interceptions and one touchdown last season. He earned an all-state selection at the end of the year. Garon played four games and had 40 tackles last season.

Other key returning defensive players include Cameron Weatherly at linebacker and Taylor Hood, Tyler Melton, Mike Galindo and Joeseph Evans on defensive line. Echoing what he said about the offense, he said, “Taylor and Tyler – I expect a lot out of them, and Cameron Starnes as well.”

Hood, a junior, had one sack and one caused fumble last season. Sophomore Tyler Melton got five tackles in two games played last season.

“The rest of the defense is fast and physical up front,” Carter said.