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Once a ballboy, now he’s the ballcarrier

Davis, a tailback, transferred to Estancia before senior year after he had been a Newport Harbor fan and then player.

November 19, 2009|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

One day toward the end of last school year at Estancia High, football coach Mike Bargas noticed a familiar face.

Bargas tried to put a name to the face of the junior transferring to the school. The Eagles’ third-year coach admits he’s terrible with names.

The last time Bargas remembered seeing the kid was when he was an assistant coach at Newport Harbor in 2004. Back then, the kid was a 5-foot, 115-pound ballboy for the Sailors.

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Sean Davis was all grown up by now, nine inches taller and 85 pounds heavier.

“I remember when he used to ride on the bus with us,” Bargas said. “It was a pleasant surprise to see him.

“I just remember a little pudgy kid and now he’s a big pudgy kid.”

Davis is still responsible for holding a ball during football games.

In his senior year, Davis is just running with it, full speed ahead, and knocking back tacklers in the process as a running back for Estancia.

Davis’ presence in the backfield and as an inside linebacker has allowed the Eagles (6-4) to qualify for tonight’s CIF Southern Section Southern Division first-round playoff game at Laguna Hills (8-2) at 7. Without Davis, Estancia most likely isn’t making its first playoff appearance since Bargas’ first year at the school in 2007.

In the final three regular-season games, Davis elevated his play on offense. He topped 100 yards on the ground in each of the crucial Orange Coast League games.

With Alex Abalos, the team’s starting running back, dealing with an injured ankle down the stretch, Davis gave the Eagles another option. Davis turned into a bulldozer.

The shifty Abalos is back and closer to being 100%. The different running styles of Abalos and Davis can only help the Eagles’ attempt to upset the defending champion Hawks and record the program’s first playoff victory since 1980.

Being a part of a program with little postseason success is something new to Davis. He grew up rooting for Newport Harbor on the sideline as a ballboy during its back-to-back championship appearances in 2004 and 2005, then played for the program when he enrolled into the school in 2006.

For three years Davis suited up as a proud Sailor. That was about to change. Davis said family problems forced him to transfer out of Newport Harbor in the second semester of his junior year.

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