2021-22 NewsTribune Male Athlete of the Year

Athleticism, work ethic, competitive drive led to success for Princeton’s Teegan Davis

Teegan Davis is a football player.

That’s his passion and the sport he plans to play in college.

But he’s never considered dropping his other sports to focus solely on football.

“I still have love for other sports,” Davis said. “I still want to be able to play those with the family I’ve created here at school.”

And he has plenty of skill in his other sports as well.

Davis was dominant in three sports during his junior year at Princeton High School.

In the fall, he led the area in passing yards (1,737) and rushing yards (1,150), had 37 touchdowns, earned NewsTribune Offensive Football Player of the Year and led the Tigers to a 10-2 record and Class 3A quarterfinal appearance.

Davis averaged 15.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3 assists and 2.2 steals per game in basketball to help PHS to 21 wins and its first regional title since 2010-11 and earn NewsTribune All-Area honors.

He ended the year with a bang as he qualified for the Class 2A State Track and Field Meet in four events, winning the high jump and earning another medal in the long jump, and was named NewsTribune Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

For all he accomplished this season, Davis is the 2021-22 NewsTribune Male Athlete of the Year.

“It was an overall good year,” Davis said. “We did really well in a lot of sports this year. We went deep in the playoffs in football, won a regional [in basketball] and went to state this year for track.

“I feel like I did pretty well this year (individually). Definitely areas I can get better at and achieve better goals than I did this year. I plan to do better next year.”

While Davis admittedly is naturally gifted athletically, he doesn’t simply rely on that talent for his success.

During football season, on top of the practice, film work and lifting he does with the team, he’ll come home and do extra technique work with his dad, Spencer, a former standout football player and head coach at Bureau Valley.

Davis will go to the Metro Center with teammates during basketball season to get in extra work after practice.

In the spring, he’ll stay after track practice to get extra practice in with jumps coach Rob Jensen.

“My mom and dad were athletes when they were younger so they gave me some genes, but I’ve always worked hard, and my mom and dad have always pushed me to work harder,” Davis said. “My brothers have always helped.”

On top of the skill and work ethic, his coaches say he has an incredible competitive drive.

“He gets that from mom and dad,” PHS track coach Dan Foes said. “He’s had a lot of brothers who have had success. His uncles too. The Davis family has always had that great competitiveness. Basically, the attitude of ‘I’m not losing here.’

“When you couple that with Teegan’s raw athletic ability, it’s a special thing.”

Princeton football coach Ryan Pearson said Davis “is a true competitor.”

“He is one of those kids who is going to will himself to do well,” Pearson said. “He just has a never-say-die mentality that is contagious to be around.”

Princeton basketball coach Jason Smith said Davis has displayed that drive since before he even entered high school.

Smith recalls a story from summer league leading up to Davis’ freshman year when the Tigers were down seven or eight points.

PHS was playing a 1-3-1 trap with Davis on the wing. He went up to the freshman coach and said, “Put me on the point, coach, and we’ll win.”

And the Tigers did.

“I’ve never seen a kid who wants to win as bad as he does,” Smith said. “It’s been a long time, I think, since this area has had an athlete like him. That competitive drive helps fuel him to be the best. He has a strong work ethic to be the best. That’s all the things you want to be built into one athlete.”

With that drive, Davis has his sights set on more success his senior year.

“I want to go deep in the playoffs in football and hopefully get to a state championship game,” Davis said. “Same for basketball. I don’t want to just settle on a regional. I want to go past that. In track, I want to go to state and do my best there.”