Ed Davis returns to Parkersburg South girls’ basketball bench
Coach guided Patriots to state semifinal in 2018
PARKERSBURG — Ed Davis felt the tugging of a homecoming.
After two years staying away from Parkersburg South, that familiar feeling started coming back. “You always have a special place in your heart for your alma mater and the people and you never lose that,” Davis said. “The relationships I developed during my time on Scott’s staff and as head coach, those are still there and they still run deep.”
Fortunately for him, there appeared a job opening at the school more than capable of suiting his needs: Parkersburg South girls basketball head coach.
“I had no idea the opportunity would present itself, again,” he said. But, it did.
And he couldn’t turn it down, entering his name into the hat, while playing the waiting game. Now, he’s the new head coach of the Patriots.
The Wood County Board of Education approved his hiring during their Tuesday night meeting. Davis, who spent the last two years with Wood County Christian girls’ baseball, takes over for Rick Dobson, who stepped down earlier this summer.
Though Davis has yet to meet his entire team, he doesn’t come into the situation blind. “You always kind of follow it, you pay attention to the scores or you can’t help but look, or you read columns in the paper,” Davis said.
“Last year when you are coaching full-time somewhere else you still pay some attention.
“You have your own set of things you are working on and you are playing some of the same nights.” But, that isn’t bad news.
“We are familiar with a lot of the roster because the seniors were freshmen our last year, there, couple of them were on the varsity that year. I know they have grown and mature a lot and a lot of the younger kids used to come to our camp so we are familiar with the families,” he said.
Those acquaintances start at the most important place for a team: at point guard. Skyler Bosley, whose seen action since she was a freshman, returning means Davis has a floor leader familiar with his system.
Speaking of systems, fans shouldn’t expect to see the exact same defense used during his last stint with the team. Instead, “we are going to wait and see what he have and work to their abilities,” he said.
That approached certainly worked in his first stint with Davis leading the group to three trips to the regional final, including a trip to the state tournament semifinal in 2018. In that game, the Patriots faced rival Parkersburg High at the state tournament for the first time. And the rivalry game went just as fans would expect.
The Big Reds and Patriots battled to a 63-61 PHS advantage with 0.7 seconds left on the clock. It appeared the Big Reds would escape and go on to meet Buckhannon-Upshur in the state title game. However, a wayward full-court inbounds pass sailed over Shay-Lee Kirby’s head and South got possession. Davis called a timeout and drew up a play for Makenna Winans. Winans successfully received the inbounds pass under the basket, but couldn’t elevate or get a shot off thanks to the Big Reds’ defenders.
One year later, the Patriots went to Huntington and lost in the regional co-final. Lonnie Lucas and his Highlanders clamped down defensively and held South to 19 percent shooting.
Davis made it clear that he feels the Patriots can get back to the big games. He successfully developed a number of all-state players and defensive specialist during first visit: Makenna Winans, Cassie Whitlatch, Allie Taylor and Sierra Hays being examples. Winans, Hays and Taylor went on to make Class AAA all-state teams.
“We don’t have a lot of time now,” Davis admitted on preparing his team. “But we do have the entire season and I think in the beginning we will keep plays simple and let them play some and then as the season goes we will try to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
“We are excited about it. Personally, I am so thankful to the administration. In life, it is hard at times to get one really good chance, but to have this opportunity twice I can’t tell you how grateful I am to everyone involved. We are just excited. It will be good to see (Wheeling Park head coach) Ryan Young and Huntington’s Lucas and all those guys.”
Parkersburg South opens the season against Fort Frye at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3.