Friday, September 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Smyte looks back at mercurial DHS football season

By
From page B1 | November 06, 2012 |

DHS receiver C.K. Hicks, seen here powering through the Elk Grove defense, is a player that Blue Devil coach Steve Smyte will rely on next season. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

Looking back on a season that put Davis High back in the area football conversation, Blue Devil coach Steve Smyte sounds like a proud papa.

“Definitely, we are on the upswing,” the gridiron mentor said after his charges went 5-5 and missed the postseason by thiiissss much.

“I am very encouraged by the future of our program.”

Smyte, who assisted at both Boise State and UC Davis before taking over in May of 2010, chatted with The Enterprise about his squad’s up-and-down campaign.

Q. Where is the program now?

A. “Look at the freshmen. They had a good season. Look at the JV and varsity … each team has improved. It’s no longer a case of starting over.

“(Four years ago we) were fighting to keep the program alive. Then we got some traction. Last year, I felt we built a foundation and this year it was our goal to be competitive, which we were.

“Now it’s to win a championship.”

Q. What steps forward stand out to you this season?

A. “We got tougher. We are understanding how to be competitive at this level. We were relatively healthy (the conditioning program paying dividends) and … our defense was outstanding, especially in the Elk Grove game.”

(Toiling in the super-rugged Delta Valley Conference — which contains the region’s No. 1 team in Franklin and two other playoff squads — the Blue Devils almost shocked No. 3 Elk Grove on the final night of the regular season.

(After that 17-10 loss, many thought a 2-3 DVC mark and being even after 10 games might sneak the locals into the playoffs. But that honor went to Nevada Union, also 5-5 with a losing league mark.)

Q. What did you think about losing out to Nevada Union?

A. “Somebody is always going to be mad. I just find it hard to understand, with the schedule we played (losses to four playoff teams while outscoring opponents, 211-14, in their five victories), that we’re not playing another game.

“It’s ridiculous that we’re staying home. But it would be ridiculous to say that Nevada Union doesn’t belong there, either.”

(Smyte suggested that Sac-Joaquin Section officials consider a couple of play-in games to avoid leaving out deserving teams.)

Q. What rebuilding does DHS have to do between now and kickoff 2013?

A. “We’ll be OK at skill positions. We’ll have to replace our quarterback (Grant Dickerson), but I’m looking forward to what (JV QB) Quentin Jones can do … and Emilio Barba moved us when he was in and Quinn Williams can play quarterback. We have all our running backs returning and most of the receivers. With C.K. Hicks, we have to find ways to get the ball to him more often.

“I think we’ll have a lot of different flavors on offense next year.

“Where we need to (rebuild) is on the line. We get our best lineman Bailey Murray back. Guys like Nash Nunes, Zach Slavich and Nick Yaver will have to step up, although all of them saw a lot of action this year.

“We have the whole offseason to get them stronger, and I know they’ll come along.”

Q. What specific 2012 moments stand out?

A. “That 99-yard (officially 96) drive against Elk Grove was amazing. It was one of the best drives we’ve ever had at Davis. Do people know how hard it is to go 99 yards against a defense like Elk Grove has?”

(On that drive Dickerson had “scored” from 2 yards out. But the apparent touchdown was called off. The drive ended when it was signaled that DHS had committed its second sideline infraction of the game. Then later, a discussion between Smyte and an official revealed the actual call was aiding the runner — the refs had decided Dickerson was pushed into the end zone. The Devils settled for a field goal.

(Smyte added: “Also (Dickerson’s) five touchdown passes on five consecutive throws in the Armijo game, (beating) our rival Woodland and those 42 points against Monterey Trail. That’s a good football team.”)

Q. On Sept. 15 you lost a nonleague game 26-21 at Rio Americano. What do you feel when you hear Rio Americano mentioned?

A. “I feel sick. To this day, I’m sick. That’s why all this talk about playoffs … it makes me so mad. It cost us the playoffs. We should have put that game away in the first three quarters. But, like my daughter Julianna told me, ‘Hey, Dad, if you had won that game, we might not have been as good at the end.’

“We learned something from that game. After Armijo (62-0) and Foothill (40-7), the players thought it was going to be easy. The Rio Americano game was a wake-up call.”

Q. Personally, what has the experience of coaching high school football been?

A. “The first year was humbling. From where I had coached before, it was tough. I’d been in bowl games and playoffs nine of 10 years at UC Davis and Boise State, traveled in the Canadian Football League …

“High school makes you a little more creative and makes you tax yourself more, especially if it’s a program that (was struggling). It was really hard for me to go into Grant three years ago with 19 healthy players. I wouldn’t trade this experience, though.”

Q. Silly question: Will you be back for a fourth season at the helm?

A. “I think so … If (Davis principal) Dr. (Jacqui) Moore and (athletic director) Dennis Foster want me back.”

(Foster told The Enterprise in an email Monday: “Steve is here to stay as long as he wants. My plan is to stay here as well and see him through to a conference title and playoff berth.”)

Notes: Smyte sent a recent email to parents, sponsors, coaches and players thanking them for their support and commitment. Among the Blue Devil accomplishments the coach pointed out in that letter were a varsity team 3.2 GPA with zero disciplinary referrals, involvement in a number of community charities and support drives, three shutouts during the season, school records for points and touchdowns and beating Woodland — among other milestones. “There is so much to be proud of … and still some unfinished business,” Smyte concluded.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at bgallaudet@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8047.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    UC to create $250 million venture capital fund

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A1

     
    School district may redevelop downtown site

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Grant means new push for moving tracks out of town

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Some say council needs to reconsider MRAP

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Man faces arson charge in huge California wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    DUI suspected in crash

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Master Gardeners share their wisdom at free workshops

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Scots vote to stay in UK

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    France strikes Islamic State group’s depot in Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Rabid bat found at Holmes Junior High

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Students invited to apply for Blue & White grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Telling tales, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Halloween costume sale benefits preschool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Volunteers sought to make veggie bags

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Woodland Healthcare offering flu shots

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Storyteller will draw on music, dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Putah Creek Bike Path to close temporarily

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Little Free Libraries open at Montgomery

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Nonprofits can get DCN’s help

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Register to vote by Oct. 20

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Free workout class set at library

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Explorit: Lots of ways to be a volunteer

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Sierra Club remembers longtime walker

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    DHS Classes of 1954 and 1955 will hold 60th reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Davis maps available at Chamber office

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Reception benefits endangered gorillas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Downtown history tour planned in October

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Davis hosts its own climate change rally

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Sutter Farmers Market offers local goods

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Wolk applauds approval of stronger rules for olive oil

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Qigong classes available for heart health

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    Sick of being the bad guy

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Save the ‘pine cone place’

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Affirm our community values

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Project has safety risks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Learn more about Paso Fino

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Educate homeless with dogs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Cheers and Jeers: Not the end of the rainbow

    By Our View | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Return to previous plan

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    No rest for the weary: Aggie TE Martindale busy on and off the field

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils hope the light bulb turns on at Edison

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    River Cats and Giants sign two-year deal

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Blue Devil volleyballers hold off Herd

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggies’ new energy could be scary for Big West

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Mustangs are no match for DHS boys in water polo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

    Take Zona and Bama this week

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

     
    A’s slide continues as Rangers sweep

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Awards keep coming for UC Davis retiree

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Business

    Redesigned 2015 Escalade remains breed all its own

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, September 19, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Taylor Morrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Norcal Land

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Robin Garland

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Dana Hawkins

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Martha Bernauer

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Remax

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Melrina A Maggiora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Jamie Madison & Associates

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Marcelo Campos

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Julie Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Bob Bockwinkel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Juan Ramirez

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    James Hanna

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    Susan von Geldern

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER21

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

    Lisa Haass

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER22

    First Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER24