Over the summer, it was fairly common for Valencia’s Davis Cop to swing a bat and sling a pass in the afternoon. With the baseball team’s playoff run in the rearview and a potential starting quarterback position straight ahead, Cop mastered the ability to balance two sports.
The senior to-be typically played four innings of a baseball game, then made the short trek across campus to suit up and get some reps in at QB.
His dedication paid off, as he was named the Vikings starting quarterback for the 2018 season a month ago.
“It’s something that I’ve looked up to for a long time and last year sitting behind Connor (Downs) was tough and I learned a lot and I think that makes me a better quarterback for this year and a better leader,” Cop said.
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There have been plenty of crossovers between baseball and football for Cop. He’s learned how to be an excellent communicator on the field and connect with players at every position.
“That kind of comes from like, baseball,” he said. “It’s boring, so you have to talk to people or else you’ll drive yourself insane out there.”
“It’s more just like enjoying myself out there and having fun and being like, confident enough to go up and talk to people and like if they were doing something wrong or if I’m doing something wrong.”
Among the other dual-sport athletes on the Valencia roster, Mitchell Torres also plays both baseball and football. Torres, a junior, played in one game last season but is expected to see an increased role at the receiver position this year.
“He plays on my left side at times, so it’s literally like throwing from first base to third base, which is really cool.”
Kohler Shockley is primed to be a playmaker at the receiver position this year. He gained valuable varsity experience last season, starting at safety in seven games, including playoffs.
He also saw playing time at wideout in four games, making two catches for 30 yards.
While Cop is unsure of what his defining characteristic as a quarterback will be, Shockley has already made a few observations.
“He’s pretty good at making reads and he has a really strong arm, so he’s able to throw the ball deep down the field, which always helps,” he said. “…He knows what he needs to do and when and he’s good at rolling out of the pocket and keeping the play going.”
Just like he balanced two sports over the summer, Cop will also have to balance the Vikes’ developing receiving corps with the ground game, which will be lead by senior Jayvaun Wilson.
Wilson rushed for 724 yards and 19 touchdowns on 79 carries in the 2017 season and he’s confident he can match that performance with the help of Cop.
“He knows that he can count on me if he’s messing up and I know I can count on him,” Wilson said. “I just feel like together we’re like, we’re a good team and not only me and him, he looks after the receivers and the linemen. We all look out for each other.”