Touchdowns and Tenacity: Joseph Davis’ Drive and Dedication

By Wade Sheldon, Tulalip News; photos courtesy of Eliza Davis and Marilyn Sheldon 

Amid a turbulent football season riddled with injuries, setbacks, and a limited roster, Tulalip tribal member Joseph Davis emerged as a shining star. Despite adversity, Davis showcased remarkable skills, accumulating over 1,300 total yards. Notably, he played Iron Man-style football, excelling on offense and defense, embodying resilience and determination.

In his junior year playing for the Marysville Pilchuck Tomahawks, Davis earned a well-deserved spot on the Everett Herald’s all-area first-team offense. The accolade recognized his outstanding performance during the 2023-2024 season, where he rushed for an impressive 1,105 yards, averaging 9.1 yards per carry and securing 15 touchdowns. Recently, Tulalip News spoke with Joseph to discuss his season and delve into his plans for the future.

After a tumultuous junior year, how do you feel you did during the 2023-2024 season?

I did well during the times I could play. I missed a couple of games with an ankle injury. I wanted to put a little more on tape for the future and college and get a good film, but I did well during the time I was in. 

What were some significant highlights of your season?

Definitely making it to State. We had a young team, and only six seniors were starters; most were juniors and sophomores. We didn’t have that many guys on our team, maybe 30, that would constantly show up to practice. Every other team that made it to State had around 60 to 80, so it was one of my biggest highlights. 

What does it take to play both sides of the ball?

Conditioning honestly, and mentality. Not many kids can be effective on both sides of the ball. I love hitting people and scoring touchdowns, so it’s fun to play both sides of the ball. 

You make big hits and phenomenal runs out there. Who do you style your play after? 

I watched a lot of Shaun Taylor on defense at safety. Then, on offense, I try to be patient; I have good vision. At running back, I like LeVeon Bell. He is patient. I like his style. 

How much dedication does it take to be a student-athlete?

My whole day consists of school, practice, working out, and studying. I’m trying to keep a high GPA to send it to colleges. Also, trying to get bigger, faster, and stronger consumes much of my time. 

What is your favorite part about playing football?

I get a chance to show my athleticism, and when I’m out there on the field, I feel free. 

Where do you get the will and determination to push through, succeed as you do, and make the tough sacrifices you need to make?

First of all, I have been doing this for so long that it has become my routine from day to day. My dad and my family. I have a sound support system with my family and friends, and my dad is always behind me to help me keep going and is constantly setting up stuff to make me better. 

What do you look forward to going into your senior year of football?

I have been playing with the same group of guys since the sixth grade, so I want to try and make a run for the state championship. 

What do you plan on doing after high school?

Well, I want to go to college to play football. If I can get a college scholarship for D1, D2, or D3, I will investigate it and see if I want to go. Wrestling is on my mind. Getting a wrestling scholarship or going to wrestling college would be really cool. 

What do you have to say to the kids coming up who want to play football? 

Focus on your technique. If you focus on the little things that will take you far. Take it day by day, and grind.