Tire changed, Devil footballers get back on road

By From page B1 | October 16, 2012

Sometimes on a long journey, your car will suffer a blowout.

After you struggle to keep your vehicle headed in the right direction, you come to a safe rolling stop on the shoulder.

Once the damage is assessed, you have two choices: fret about it, call a tow truck and ruin your trip — or you can hop out, change the tire and be on your way.

Davis High, a much improved football team, was having a terrific time through six games. Coming off of a 42-7 victory over Monterey Trail to open Delta Valley Conference play, the Blue Devil cruiser had a significant flat last Friday — losing 72-7 at powerhouse Franklin.

Watching video of the unsavory encounter, DHS players and coaching staff have come to a safe stop at the side of their road to the playoffs.

Dealing with their misfortune with the credo “What’s Done Is Done,” the Blue Devils’ Monday practice was a euphemistic tire change — and head coach Steve Smyte believes his guys are back on track.

“They have a lot of pride. We came back Saturday and watched the film. Nobody was pointing (fingers),” Smyte explained. “The saw (the loss) as a learning opportunity. Obviously, they could have done better in that game. But that game was then … this game is now. We’re looking forward to Laguna Creek.”

DHS (4-3, 1-1 in DVC) will entertain the Cardinals on Friday (7:15 p.m.) in the Homecoming Week’s grand finale. The Creek comes in 2-5 and 0-2 in DVC play.

“Every time we’ve lost, we come back with a win; actually two in a row,” Smyte noted. “If we could continue that pattern, we’re in the playoffs.”

So, in this up-and-down season, do the Devils know who they are?

“Rome wasn’t built in a day. With football, you always have to keep your eye on the prize and ask yourself ‘What have we done so far?’ ” Smyte said. “I learned from coach (Bob) Biggs (of UC Davis) and coach (Jim) Sochor (retired Aggie coach) that you have to stay positive, have to focus on the positives on your team — make sure the negatives don’t become who you are.

“Our guys get that. We had fun (Monday) in our film session, at practice. We were joking around. Reality is, you get beat like that, maybe you have to laugh at that. That game is over … Saturday, we put that game to bed. Burned the film and gave it a burial.”

With Laguna Creek on the horizon, Friday’s game not only will celebrate Homecoming, it will remember the courageous life of Susan G. Komen, a breast-cancer victim whose sister started a nationwide awareness and research fundraising campaign in an effort to erase breast cancer from the American lexicon.

The DHS Football Backers group will be collecting donations (cash or check) for the foundation at Friday’s game.

Collections will be accepted at the concession stand and Devil Wear table during the junior varsity and varsity games. Checks, according to one Backer official, should be made out to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and include the following ID on the memo line: 13741203.

Notes: The Blue Devils got a little dinged up against the Wildcats, but Smyte expects most hands to be on deck come kickoff on Friday. Linebacker Brendan MacDonald (knee), defensive back Andre Foster and lineman Nick Denton (shoulder) should be ready to roll. LB Mike McTygue was shaken up on the final Franklin kickoff and held out of practice. Smyte says, “We always err on the side of caution,” but expects the versatile senior to be in uniform for Homecoming.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at [email protected] and (530) 747-8047.

Bruce Gallaudet

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