For months, Caleb Davis was often alone.
The Bonney Lake High junior lineman was coming off a breakout season bullying the 3A SPSL on his way to being voted all-league honors — a season where Davis started to grow into his potential. But there was so much more left.
Bonney Lake football coach Jason Silbaugh always felt his top lineman had a beast residing in him, and after last season’s results, it was only up to Davis to reach inside himself and become that person so many saw in him.
So Davis spent the months toiling alone in the weight room.
“I wasn’t wrestling as much anymore, and I wanted to take a break,” Davis said about the weight demands in wrestling of moving down to the 225-pound weight class. “(Plus) I wanted to stay weight-room strong. (Just) trying to get bigger for (next year’s) football season.”
Sometimes 20 or more teammates would join him, but often, Davis was alone in the weight room as he built himself up. He was a man on a mission.
I gained quite a bit of weight from the weight room. Just eating and lifting and gaining weight a lot.
“I gained quite a bit of weight from the weight room. Just eating and lifting and gaining weight a lot,” he said.
A lot of weight is an understatement.
In a little over three months, the results have been impressive as Davis added 40 pounds to his 6-foot-4 frame, going from 240 pounds at the end of the football season to 280 pounds now.
“But next year, I plan on wrestling again,” Davis added, this time in the easier-to-achieve 285-pound weight class.
The added strength has also turned Davis into one of the state’s top shot-putters as the Bonney Lake junior has the second-farthest distance (54 feet, 8 inches) behind Everett’s Nicholas Blair (55-5 1/2). Davis sits at No. 8 in all classifications.
“When you start hitting 50 (feet) or more, that shows explosiveness from a lineman like Caleb,” Silbaugh said, who also coaches the Panthers’ throwing team. “He’s really throwing with confidence right now, but I think that comes from his offseason work. He’s seen what he can do once he puts his mind to something. I think he can be in the 60-feet range next year.”
For context, the state’s top thrower, Chelan’s Jose Padilla, is ranked No. 27 in the nation with a best throw of 61-4 1/4.
Davis has broken Bonney Lake’s school record six times this season. He set his personal best, 54-8, on Saturday at the Shoreline Invitational.
“I don’t think of it as a school record. I think of it as a personal record (only),” Davis said candidly. “Just trying to beat my own record.”
Davis set the school record last year with a throw of 51- 3 1/4.
He’s seen what he can do once he puts his mind to something. I think he can be in the 60-feet range next year.
Bonney Lake throwing coach Jason Silbaugh
“We (wanted) to see how he would do going up against some of the state’s best throwers, especially getting a look against (Blair),” Silbaugh said.
Davis finished in second place Saturday behind meet winner Deszmon Humphries of Tahoma (56-9 1/2). Blair (51-11) finished third behind Davis.
“By the end of the season, I’d like to hit 56 (feet) or 57. (I want to) go from there and build on that next year, trying to get into the 60 (-foot range),” Davis said.
By the end of this season, Davis might still be alone — this time at the top of state’s list of best throws.