By Kevin Olsen
Head coach Kemal Makasci concluded tryouts last week for the men’s soccer club team hoping to build a team that will earn them a spot in the regional championship. In his fifth year as coach of the UVU club team, Makasci sought to find a solid coaching staff and players who are dedicated and have a passion for the game.
Parker Davis, starting his third and final year on the club team as a at mid-fielder, personifies the passion and dedication Makasci is looking for. Following the season Davis will continue his education in a nursing program off campus.
While attending the University of Idaho, Davis’s father played for their football team. Like many young men, Davis planned to play football like his father. That all changed, however, when he was introduced to soccer.
“I’m really not that big,” Davis said. “And I just really liked soccer, the competitive nature, the feel for the game.”
For all four years of his high school career, Davis played varsity soccer in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In addition to high school ball, he played for a traveling club team named Ballistic and put in a year with the Olympic Development Team for Idaho.
After graduation, Davis married his high school sweetheart, which brought him to Utah County after playing semi-pro soccer for the Idaho Falls Eagles. His wife supported his career, and encouraged him to continue.
“My wife told me to go and try out for the UVU men’s soccer team and see how I liked it.” Davis said. “I really liked the guys, I really liked our program, and I really liked the coach.”
Davis starts his week days at 5:30 a.m. with physical training for the ROTC. Afterward he’s in class fulfilling his 14-credit hour schedule, followed by soccer practice and open labs; all while supporting his wife and two children.
“My wife is my rock. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without her.” Davis said. “She could really say ‘I don’t want you to play soccer,’ but she can see how much I love it and enjoy it.”
Davis has been working hard to motivate the team to feel the same way, a challenge for club teams lacking roster continuity. Club teams don’t offer scholarships and ultimately a player has no educational or financial obligation to be at practice. Players must take it upon themselves to show up and win games.
“I’ve announced vocally that this is a club team, you’re going to have to pay to be here,” Davis said. “You just have to have the passion to play the game. You’ve got to love the sport.”
Davis hopes his commitment will be evident on and off the field as he dedicates his time to be a better player and end his university career proud of his decision to play for UVU.
“I didn’t want to be sitting five years from now thinking ‘what if I would have played soccer and stuck with it?’” he said.