Even with his injury, the Holy Innocents’ junior still managed to win the state title at 195 pounds at the Class A traditional wrestling tournament at Commerce High School Feb. 22.
Davis — who finished the season with a 35-3 dual meet record — defeated Commerce’s Morgan Flint 9-4 in the finals after pinning Darlington’s Landon Lawrence in 30 seconds in the quarterfinals and winning a 15-5 major decision over Mount Zion of Carroll County’s Daniel Anderson in the semifinals.
Now, Davis faces up to six months of rehabilitation after undergoing an operation to repair his injured shoulder last week.
“As a coach, I tell athletes all the time that being hurt is part of any sport, but being injured puts a whole new perspective on competing at a higher level,” Holy Innocents’ coach Stacey Davis – who is Rod Davis’ father -- said. “Rod had to retrain many positions, but it made him better in all positions. The problem is that fluke things happen and he was able to recover several times this year when his shoulder did get put in a bad situation.
“His shoulder is an issue that simply makes him the kind of athlete and person that puts him in position to win a state championship. He has a will to succeed.”