Archived Stories

Hurry up and get to the field

By October 15, 2010

Enterprise columnist

You still have time, but donÕt dawdle.

Tonight, Ron & Mary Brown Stadium at Davis High School is to be christened Ñ and while you probably missed the official dedication ceremony (slated for 3:45 p.m.) thereÕs going to be a heckuva football game when the Blue Devils entertain Laguna Creek at Homecoming.

Besides getting to see the nifty floats from this afternoonÕs parade, youÕll be greeted by information booths from different student groups, unique food vendors Ñ including crepes a la DHS French Club Ñ and you will have a chance to catch up with friends and neighbors.

But the attraction remains the football:

Even with Davis struggling at 1-5 during a gut-wrenching, mettle-testing season, the Blue Devil players and coaches have not lost sight of the big picture, although all have been forced to shift gears in recent weeks.

ÒYou are here now,Ó is what first-year DHS coach Steve Smyte tells his troops.

DonÕt worry about what happened last week. DonÕt think about the next three Fridays. Concentrate on the matters at hand.

ÒDo your best, always,Ó Smyte demands. ÒPlay for the moment.Ó

And as this special Homecoming unfolds, the Blue Devils know that through six games, 2010 is a far cry from what the locals had in mind back in August.

But Smyte and Company have to play the hand dealt. And this time through the deck, while there are plenty of hearts and jacks (of all trades), DavisÕ ace remains in street clothes.

Tailback Courtney Williams (ankle, thigh bruise) will miss yet another game. After playing bits and pieces of the first three outings, Williams has been dealt out.

ÒPeople donÕt realize how much he means to our offense (all 500 combo yards in spot duty),Ó Smyte. ÒEven when he didnÕt have the ball, the other teams had to account for him.

ÒNow with him out, people just tee off on (our) offense.Ó

Without the 1,000-yard rusher of a year ago in the backfield, DHS has been victimized by repeated blitzes, little success on third downs and a whole lot of guys playing out of position because of the literally dozens of injuries to an already thin roster.

ÒBut weÕre still battling,Ó Smyte said after last weekÕs 45-7 setback to Franklin. ÒThere are games that weÕve been in … except for little things here and there (that ultimately did in the Devils late).Ó

Tonight, against another 1-5 team in Laguna Creek, Davis Nation can step up, support its Blue Devils and maybe, as the 12th Man, supply a much-needed adrenaline boost in the fourth quarter.

At least, go have a crepe.

While I Have You Here: Local author Joe Taxiera hasnÕt even published ÒA Unique Look at Big League BaseballÓ and requests for copies and exciting reviews from far-off places continue to roll in.

After TaxieraÕs hobby-turned-serious project was featured Sunday in The Davis Enterprise, the local researcher says reservations for the guide have poured in.

ÒWe had 18 people reserve multiple copies since the article,Ó Taxiera explained. ÒAnd another bunch of inquiries have been received.Ó

Website hits are way up, too.

Without a publisher, Taxiera isnÕt sure when the book will be available, but targets this spring.

The book tries to put in perspective the ebb and flow of baseballÕs contrasting styles and players over the years. It opens discussion about who were the best players, the most glorious decades and how equipment, parks and rules came into play in sculpting statistics.

More than 10 Major League Baseball announcing crews (including KNBRÕs Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper on San Francisco broadcasts) are using TaxieraÕs labor of love Ñ and Commissioner Bud SeligÕs assistant Charles Steinberg is poring over the tome as you read this.

DonÕt be surprised if MLB gives ÒA Unique Look at Big League BaseballÓ its official stamp of approval soon.

If things werenÕt already going TaxieraÕs way this season, note heÕs also a big-time Giants fan.

What surprised Taxiera about the recent response? Of the 18 reservations, 14 were from women.

To contact Taxiera, visit http://www.uniquebaseball.com or e-mail him at [email protected]

ÑÊBruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or (530) 747-8056. Comment on this story at www.davisenterprise.com

Bruce Gallaudet

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