Bonney Lake High senior Caleb Davis has two unique challenges facing him in the coming months.
As it sits currently, Davis is coming up short on a pair of goals on his to-do list.
He enters this year’s track and field season after finishing in second place at the state meet in the Class 3A boys shot put. Davis’ mark of 54 feet, 8 3/4 inches at Mount Tahoma Stadium last May left him short of the title.
If the senior can break 60 feet in the shot this season, then a state title is a good as his, he believes.
“Everything is earned,” Davis said.
The second and probably the biggest issue that Davis faces is not one he can deal with right now, but if he can reach that difficult benchmark in the shot put, it can go a long way in helping him build confidence in his other endeavor: scoring a spot on the roster as walk-on on Eastern Washington University’s football team.
“I thought that last year that I would be given a college scholarship, but it didn’t end up working out that way. I felt that walking on and earning my spot and my scholarship with Eastern was the best option,” said Davis, who will work his way onto the Eagles defensive unit as an interior tackle. “I will have to work and prove that I deserve my offer with them once I get there. The college level and the high school level are very different, so I can use this opportunity to work myself into a college-level player.”
After a strong recruiting class this past Signing Day, Eastern was enjoying a boon of sorts while bringing in some of the top talent from the state. Davis was included in that list.
After losing his offer to UC Davis and passing up on other schools, Davis decided that being a preferred walk-on for the Eagles was his best route as he can showcase not only skills but his personal resolve.
“I think (EWU) likes him a lot. But it’s also they want to create a chip on his shoulder, get him motivated to put in the extra time in the weight room, to put in more work overall so they can have the best version of you when it comes time to play,” Bonney Lake football coach Jason Silbaugh said.
Silbaugh, who also coaches Bonney Lake’s throwing team for track and field, has seen what Davis can do when motivated.
It happened last year when the Davis chose to spend his winters in the weight room instead of competing with the wrestling team. Those results paid off: Davis was named the MVP of the 3A PCL after leading the league in sacks with 12.5.
Now comes the new challenge — one he attempted to conquer last year but fell short.
“It’s (about) putting in extra time, even though I already do that, but putting in more time than that. And to not lose focus. Stay on track,” said Davis of his attempt at reaching the 60-foot mark.
The ability to improve drives Davis to be at his best, and that’s what Eastern Washington hopes it is getting once he arrives in Cheney.
So what does achieving the 60-foot mark mean?
“If I work hard …” Davis paused as he stopped to think about his future, both the present one and the one he’ll have in Cheney. “It means that if you work hard enough, at the end of the day you can be proud of what you accomplished. That’s what I hope to do when I get to Eastern, and do the same thing by the end of this track season. I want to look back and be proud of the effort I put in.”