By Nick Snow
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater High School football coach Tucker Barnard describes senior Davyn Thompson as a quiet guy who works hard in practice — a true leader by example.
“He’s not a spotlight guy,” Barnard said. “He’s not one to be looking for attention, but as far as stepping into that (leadership) role, it’s been exemplary. I couldn’t have asked any better and I’m sure that for years to come we’ll be pointing to Davyn as a leader.”
Thompson’s shy demeanor helps him avoid the spotlight in most situations, but he was the center of attention in the loss against Tulsa Union, carrying the ball 14 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. He also had three receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
“After the first one I was like, ‘Did that really happen?’” Thompson said. “Then I just had to keep going from there. It was a great feeling.”
Having a back that can do it all is not something new for Stillwater. Andrew Minter and Jesse Vester excelled in that role last year for the Pioneers. Now the pressure is on Thompson to fill that role.
“There’s a little pressure, but I think I’m filling that void as best as I can,” Thompson said. “Early on, our coaches said that somebody’s going to have to step up to that lead position and I feel like I’ve stepped up and I’m taking that on head on.”
“I think he’s done great in filling that role,” Barnard said. “I feel really confident that he’s pushing himself and doing everything that he can do. ... Ever since we got here, he’s worked really hard in the weight room. He never misses anything. He’s here every day and he’s dependable.”
It isn’t just about filling a much-needed void for Thompson. It’s also about making a name for Stillwater running backs for years to come.
“We want to let people know that they have to respect our run game,” Thompson said. “Everybody thinks that we just throw the ball. I want people to realize that we’re pretty good at running the ball, too.”
He may be trying to make a name for himself as a running back, but Barnard said that Thompson’s hands provide Stillwater with another dangerous weapon.
“He was a receiver for us last year, but we like him coming out of the backfield,” Barnard said. “It adds an extra dimension for us and it really helps our young quarterbacks knowing that they have him in the flat.”
Whether it’s catching passes out of the backfield or taking a handoff, Thompson hopes to continue to shine in the spotlight when the pressure is on.
“I just have to keep running hard,” Thompson said. “I take every practice like it’s a game because I want to keep getting better and I want to be a leader on this team.”
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