It was a poignant moment Tuesday night when students and fans of Cosumnes Oaks and Franklin High Schools jam-packed in the Wildcat gym stood during in a long moment of silence in remembrance for a deceased friend and classmate.
Cosumnes Oaks’ football player and wrestler Josh Davis passed away tragically three nights prior in a traffic accident on Bruceville Road. He was 17.
With both student bodies wearing white, the schools’ basketball teams lined up for opening announcements, the silence was piercing. A few sobs could be heard.
|A moment of silence remembering Josh Davis prior to
Tuesday's game between Cosumnes Oaks and Franklin
Cosumnes Oaks principal Patrick McDougal set the scene:
“Tonight is first and foremost about Josh Davis,” McDougal said. He went to (Franklin) as a freshman, went to Toby Johnson for middle school. There’s only two miles separating our schools and the kids still hang out. I have families who have kids at each school and so to understand what is going on you have to first understand all of our kids co-mingle and they all knew Josh as a friend, a teammate and a classmate. And, he was a kid everyone liked.”
The two teams then took the floor – and as expected – an inspired Wolfpack basketball team broke away early and won the game, 74-59.
Josh Johnson led the athletic Cosumnes Oaks squad with 21 points followed by Alex Van Dyke with 20, 16 of which came in the first half.
“Josh inspired us a lot. He was an big spot in our lives individually. He was the bright light we needed and was the spark in our game,” Van Dyke said. “I’ll remember the most about his smile, his character, his personality.”
Inspired, yes, but now 6-1 in the young season, the Wolfpack also showed they are a very talented team. Just ask Franklin’s head coach Jesse Formaker.
“They dominated us on the offensive rebounds and we turned the ball over way too much,” he said. “Offensive rebounds and turnovers resulted in at least half their points. Against an athletic team like that you cannot give them that many opportunities.”
Formaker’s Wildcats trailed 23-17 after one period, but Cosumnes Oaks’ 29-11 advantage in the second quarter was the big difference.
“They were far more aggressive than we were,” he added.
Franklin was led by Christian Allen with 15 points and Marvin Timothy with 13.
Wildcats’ athletic director Mike Cody said fans were turned away once ticket sales hit capacity. People were sitting in every available inch of bleacher and standing where they could. Formaker said the big home crowd was good for his young team.
“We’re still trying to figure ourselves out,” he said. “We have eight kids that didn’t play varsity last year who are new to the team so we’re-one-fitting guys in, two-realizing what it takes to be successful, and games like this playing in front of a packed house hopefully will cause us to grow.”
One thing the game also did was solidify the brewing rivalry between the neighboring schools.
“It was that way with Elk Grove, before C.O. was open,” Formaker said. “We had kids that went to both schools or from the same neighborhoods. As soon as C.O. opened, the first year we scheduled a game because we knew these kids grow up going to the same school. It becomes a natural rivalry.”
“It’s a great high school basketball experience.”
The Wolfpack has won the last two matchups in basketball. Formaker, though, put the game into proper perspective as far as won-loss record is concerned.
“The way the Section has realigned the playoffs, it was a meaningless game,” Formaker said. “It literally means nothing. So, you want as many games like this as you can to prepare you for the ten league games. That’s all that matters is the ten league games and hopefully you get through those into the playoffs.”
Cosumnes Oaks forward L.J. Reed said the win over Franklin is a glimpse of good things to come this year.
“We’re going to go far this season, as long as we play like this we’re going to get the ‘W’,” Reed said.