Davis Strawn is a grateful guy. Even though he might have had bigger dreams for his playing career in soccer, he’s willing to keep on working to see if they may yet still come true. His thankfulness speaks volumes about not only Davis, but the people he has met along his soccer journey. Davis was recently named the “Defensive MVP” for Vancouver Victory FC for their first season in the Evergreen Premier League (EPLWA).
Strawn is grateful that the late Darin Thorp was a part of his life. “He was my first coach for maybe 4-5 years and we really built a great relationship. He helped me learn the basics and skills of soccer at a lower level and that helped me get better. He passed away last year and on my boots I always write “R.I.P DT” as a symbol of thanks and that he is always with me when I play because he did teach me so much.”
Strawn is grateful that people have been patient with his development. His body is sort of on its own schedule. “I went up to premier soccer and started playing for FC Vancouver which is no longer a club anymore but I was slower and less developed and so I struggled a lot. I played that for a year before going to play for Columbia Timbers and I finished playing for them until my junior year of high school. I just started to progress a lot and develop as I grew and matured and played against great players in the Northern Washington area like Seattle. I give thanks to my coaches and teammates because I personally think I entered one of the worst players and got better to become one of the best on my teams. I played my high school years at Union High School under Coach Kelsey Burris and Jason Moore and Dustin Johnson, I give a ton of credit to these guys because I’ve built a great relationship with amazing men and coaches and they have helped me in tremendous ways on and off the field. Also a shout out to my parents for all the sacrifices, money and driving commitments they made to let me do what I love.”
It’s not easy to work so hard and then get left off of recruiting lists, but Strawn knows he has to keep playing. “I ended up playing for Whatcom because I didn’t have many looks from schools out of high school. I almost commuted to Chico State but my goal was to reach higher and go Division I. I went to Bellingham on a visit to meet Joel Grossman and see the school and area and really liked it. It reminded me a bit of Vancouver in some areas but it was far enough away from home and close enough that if I wanted to I could come back home on a weekend. I chose it because of that reason, and because Joel was a really nice guy and seemed like a good coach—and turned out he was. I ended up doing really well there and being an NWAAC All-Star both years I played and last year playing there I was an All – Region player. What else helped me elevate my game better was playing and practicing with Bellingham United. Yes they are the Victory’s rivals but coach Lance Calloway and others helped me grow and play better too.”
Inner strength takes hold when things don’t go your way in the outside world. If you’ve got it, it kicks into gear and carries you through. The Victory clearly think Strawn has it. They picked him as their 2014 Defensive MVP. “Honestly I didn’t expect it,” says Davis. “I couldn’t do it without the other three in the back line with me. No matter who it was, those guys and I battled all summer and worked hard together to accomplish our team’s success and be a great group of defenders. And you can’t forget about the amazing keepers we had, especially Magic (Sean Ervin); without them our back line doesn’t look as good. But it is nice to see and feel that committing my time from March to July (minus tearing a ligament in our second to last game) pays off, and hard work as well.”
It was a pretty sweet summer for Strawn as the Victory took the pitch for their first-ever season. “I made a lot of new friends with guys I would have never met and I still stay in touch with those guys and also have tightened friendships that I’ve made before. I loved the road trips, just a fun bonding time that we all loved. One of my best game memories was when we beat Yakima at the last second to win 5-4 when I flicked on a ball and Jordan Jones finished it. It was painful to sacrifice my body but we got the win and it was a great memory from the season.”
The way Davis tells it, the Victory players are treated quite well. “Barrett (Goddard, team owner) is the best GM in the league. He and his wife gave up so much for us Victory Boys, such as food, water, Gatorade, washing our game unis, travel needs, etc. They seriously hooked us up and us guys could focus on the game and not worry about anything else.”
A certain commercial video shoot created a buzz in Vancouver last summer, and Strawn was at the center of it, running through the mist with his shirt off. “A few of the boys and I were featured in a Gatorade commercial and that was a lot of fun. Something I’ve never done or thought I’d do and it was cool to see all the equipment and new Gatorade prototype stuff and just how it was filmed. Took all day but it was super fun, one of the best times with V2FC.”
Strawn is also grateful for the fans. “The Vanguard is one of the coolest supporters groups. I love playing for them with their support and all the crazy things they did. It’s like playing in front of a mini Timbers Army. Made it so fun at home matches.”
Without a soccer scholarship offer for his junior and senior years, Davis has decided to attend a university without a men’s soccer program. He’s enrolled at Washington State University working towards a degree in Sports Management. It could be though, that just like when he first hit youth premier, that Strawn is a late bloomer. He tells us he is well aware that he has two more years of NCAA eligibility left in case a program wants to give him a look. In the mean time, he plans to put the boots back on for the Victory in 2015.
“My goals with sports and soccer?” Davis says,” I want to be a high school teacher when I get older and would love to coach that school’s soccer team. I also am aspiring to be a football equipment manager for WSU. It’s something that I have the chance to do and I would love to take advantage of the opportunity. I have the chance to be one and I can’t wait!”