Fleming Island senior Reed Davis is the Times-Union's All-First Coast boys soccer player of the year.
Reed Davis walked onto the field for his final season at Fleming Island High School with a long list of achievements behind him and a bright future in front of him.
He was coming off a 50-goal season. He had just won the Class 4A boys soccer championship. And he had already committed to play Division I college soccer.
So maybe, just maybe, a player in his situation could have yielded to soccer senioritis and settled into coast mode for 2018.
But that's just not the way Davis operates.
"That's the thing about him," Fleming Island coach Michael Green said. "He never quits."
Davis never quit — and never quit scoring — and it's why he's the Times-Union's All-First Coast boys soccer player of the year for the second straight season.
Instead of dropping off, the senior surpassed even his own previous best by scoring 52 goals and 17 assists for the Golden Eagles in 2017-18, topping the century mark for his high school career.
"Going into the season, I didn't really think I had to beat last year's record," Davis said. "My goal was to just do the best I could, and if it happens, it happens."
The way he made it happen was special.
* He piled up big numbers from the start: eight goals and two assists in the first week.
* He scored four goals against Stanton, two against Mandarin, two against Oakleaf, three against Ocala Forest, three against Ponte Vedra — all playoff teams either this year or last.
* In all, he scored a hat trick or better 11 times, including a five-goal night against Orange Park on Jan. 17.
Talk about not quitting.
"It's almost like he wears the defenders down, and sooner or later, he's going to get one by them," Green said.
Davis also won over observers statewide, becoming the first-ever back-to-back winner of the Florida Dairy Farmers Mr. Soccer award.
With a combination of size, agility and skill on the ball, he led a front line that rolled through the regular season without defeat and left opposing defenses without any good options.
"Normally, the only way to defend him is to double-team him. You might as well triple-team him," Green said. "He's so big and so strong, he can hold guys off the ball."
Putting more men on Davis, though, had its own problems.
Coming off a season like last year, he knew he wasn't going to sneak up on anybody this time. By working in combination with fellow striker Lucas Hauth and attacking midfielder Marcus Murphy, he formed a three-pronged attack force that shredded defenses.
"After last year, people tended to mark me more, so I had to help make the people around me better and get them more involved," Davis said.
He showed a well-rounded approach in other ways. No one-dimensional finisher, Davis honed his technique to finish off goals with either foot or with his head.
"That's a really big thing," Green said. "With a lot of players, once defenders realize you only play with one foot, they can force you onto the other foot and shut you down."
The one side of the season that ended short of the mark, though, still leaves a sting for Davis. After the Golden Eagles topped the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches national rankings for most of the season, a loss to Oakleaf in the District 4-4A semifinals kept them from defending their crown.
His next move won't be that far at all. Davis has signed with Jacksonville University, where he joins a Dolphins team that has reached the last two Atlantic Sun Conference title games.
"They've definitely got the program heading in the right direction," Davis said.
He began his high school career as a defensive midfielder, but Davis believes he's got a chance to contend for a striker role at JU. Whatever his position, though, don't expect him to let up. It's just not his style.
"Most kids, when they go off to college and it's a bigger school, I tell them they're going to have to wait their turn," Green said. "But he's one that can get playing time, and maybe a lot of playing time."