By Bridget Letukas
Philllyacrosse.com, Posted 5/9/09
There’s a saying at Ridley High School that alumnus Jill Davis remembers well.
“I have a lot of pride in my school,” says Davis of her alma mater. “I would like to teach and coach there.”
Davis, a junior attack with a 4.0 GPA who recently was named Atlantic 10 All-Academic, , credits a former teacher for her career decision to pursue elementary and special education.
“Mrs. (Beth) Shoemaker is just one of those teachers who always stuck by me,” said Davis, the Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer & Brecher Collegiate Scholar-Athlete of the Week. “I can call her my friend now, and I go back and help her out. She’s been very inspiring to me.”
In the meantime, blue and gold are pumping through the veins of Davis as she seeks to lead a young team (that had no seniors in 2009) through growing pains.
Last year the Explorers won just one game. This season the team improved greatly and won four games under first-year coach Candace Taglianetti, including a 9-7 triumph over defending A-10 champion and city rival Temple and a 7-6 victory over Villanova.
“We’re known as the underdog team,” said Davis, who finished the 2009 season with 28 goals and 8 assists and was the A-10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman when she scored 32 goals. “Nobody believed we could do it because of our numbers. The odds were against us.”
Davis believes the Explorers have turned the corner.
“I think as a whole we are really excited,” she says of her team’s rebuilding. “Next year will be our first year that we have all four classes and a full roster.”
No stranger to bleeding her team’s colors, Davis acknowledges that attaining the team goal will require what she describes as, “collaboration and determination.”
Davis is confident in the Explorers’ commitment to their goal for 2010.
“It’s our year to finally reach the playoffs,” she said.
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