Sunday, January 25, 2015

Snap to it. Devils reminded what got them to 4-2

DHS' Oscar Sepulveda, left, and Carson Murray go at it during an early-season practice. With undefeated Franklin looming on Friday, Blue Devil coaches are urging their guys to bounce back after a lackluster Monday workout. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise file photo

From page B1 | October 09, 2012 |

Pay attention, boys.

You’re not going to sneak up on anybody anymore.

After laying the wood to a good Monterey Trail team, 42-7, on the road in Friday’s Delta Valley Conference opener, Davis High needs to roll up its football sleeves and really go to work.

On Monday, practice was a little sketchy. The Blue Devils remained giddy after bringing their record to 4-2 with a performance that could be a cornerstone of a new era.

However, head coach Steve Smyte — while allowing his crew a little chest puffing — wasn’t thrilled with his team’s overall focus in the week’s first workout.

Forty minutes after the lights came on at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, at the end of practice, Smyte had his guys running — just a little reminder about conditioning and concentration. There was also a verbal reminder about focus, and a request for no nonsense in subsequent drills.

“We have to remember what got us here,” Smyte told The Enterprise. “That’s the hard part. You have to learn how to handle success. From success sometimes comes complacency — and the one thing that we don’t want to do is become complacent.”

And all these Devils have to do is look at their remaining schedule.


Next up is Franklin (6-0), the Sac-Joaquin Section’s No. 2-ranked school. Down the road is a grumpy Grant (2-4) and No. 1 Elk Grove (6-0). If there’s a breather, it’s Laguna Creek — but the Cardinals seem to have DHS’ number.

Complacency? That would be foolish.

“Football is a marathon, not a sprint,” Smyte said. “These guys want success — but you can’t get too high or too low along the way. It’s our job, as coaches, to remind the players of the things that got us here … and we are.”

In averaging 37 points a game, the Blue Devils have one of the top scoring offenses in the region. The balance is evident — 1,297 yards passing, 1,050 on the ground.

The locals have carded three shutouts. While there was some doubt that Davis had played anybody through five games, the smackdown of Monterey Trail (now 4-2) shined a floodlight squarely on the Blue and White.

Smyte knows this is no longer the program that was 7-32 during the previous four seasons.

To be 2-0 in league, three things have to happen for DHS against Franklin:

“We have to protect the ball, play solid assignment football and tackle,” Smyte said. “Franklin is an excellent team. There’s a reason that they have the record they do. They are very athletic and play hard. They’re a team on a mission.

“They get teams in third-and-a-bunch.”

But isn’t that a good thing, coach? After all, Davis converted on six of seven fourth-down plays on Friday. Two of those plays went for touchdowns.

“No, no. We’ll take some third-and-threes,” Smyte said with a laugh. “But I will say, our guys don’t panic. They’ve been able to keep an even keel. It’s like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. They’re calm, whether up or down. I see some of that in our guys. They don’t carry the last play with them.

“If it’s not good, they shake it off and say ‘Hey, maybe that didn’t work, but the next one will.’ ”

Come Friday in Elk Grove against the Wildcats, DHS fans will find out how much Brady and Manning the Devils have absorbed.

Notes: Franklin coach Mike Johnson was on a Sacramento sports show over the weekend and was asked about his date with top-ranked Elk Grove (Oct. 19): “Elk Grove? We have Davis next. That’s a pretty good team, too,” came the Wildcat coach’s reply. Johnson won a section championship with Lincoln (Stockton) in 2000. … Lineman Nick Denton (shoulder) and receiver/defender Ted Riffle (arm) sat out Monday’s practice.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or (530) 747-7047. View galleries or purchase prints of Blue Devil sports photos at



Bruce Gallaudet

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