After a three-game spring season on the heels of five straight playoff berths, the last thing Cameron Davekos said he wants to do is overhaul the way Genoa-Kingston plays football.
Davekos was approved as the head coach of the Cogs’ football team Tuesday night at a school board meeting and announced Wednesday as Chad Wilmarth’s replacement.
“We’re going to keep it as familiar for the students as possible coming off the COVID year,” Davekos said. “The last thing I want is to implement a new system coming off the short season we had last year. I don’t think it would be fair to the kids to do that. More familiarity with what we do and what we do well is going to be a big strength for us moving forward.”
The Cogs have built their success over the last half-decade as a running team out of the wing-T, first under hall of famer Bill McCarty for two seasons, then the past three under Wilmarth.
Wilmarth went 28-8 in his four seasons at Genoa-Kingston, including 3-0 in the 2021 spring season. He made the playoffs in each of his three full seasons and Genoa has made the playoffs five straight years.
“To be honest, following on, let’s be real, a future hall of famer’s footsteps, trying to fill Chad Wilmarth’s shoes, is going to be a big task,” Davekos said. “But what I see the program is keeping that tradition of high-energy, of pounding the ball and really just taking advantage of any opportunity for big-play moments and relying on our studs and our playmakers to make those plays.”
Davekos is a graduate of G-K and teaches at Genoa elementary. He was an assistant for the football team under Wilmarth the past three years.
He’s also been the boys track coach the past three years and said he’ll continue that. Wilmarth also pulled double duty at Genoa coaching football and wrestling.
“I’m happy to take over the program from where Chad left off,” Davekos said. “I’m completely humbled, honored and excited.”
Davekos said Wilmarth was instrumental in encouraging him to go for the position. He said he had always wanted to be a head football coach even if he hadn’t vocalized it per se, and Wilmarth gave him a push in that direction.
“With talking with Chad through the process, throwing it out there one day about me applying for it, he kind of tipped the scales in a positive way,” Wilmarth said. “He told me ‘You’d be a good candidate for it, I think you’d do well.’ That confidence in me made it a concrete decision that I have support around me. We have 100 years of coaching experience on the staff, that made it a solid decision for me to go for it and apply.”
Davekos said the most important thing he learned from Wilmarth was about the importance of building relationships with the players.
“You trust the players to do what the program expects of them,” Davekos said. “In turn, the players will trust you that you know what the heck you’re talking about or what the heck you’re doing to win on Friday nights.”