Yesterday saw Davie Grant’s last practice coaching with the Highland Wildcats. Tom Green has written a special article looking back on Davie’s involvement with the team:
Name: Davie Grant
DOB: 6/11/1994 Position: NT/DT
Highland Wildcats (u17 Flag) 2009
Highland Wildcats (u17 Kitted) 2010-2011
Highland Wildcats (u19 Kitted) 2013
Blitz Achievement Award 2013
Best Lineman 2013
FBU ALL EUROPE 2012
Best Defensive Lineman 2011
Most Improved Player 2010
Team Honors (As Player)
UK Championship (u17) 2011
Scottish Championship (u17) 2010, 2011
Team Honors (As Coach)
UK Championship (u17) 2014
Scottish Championship (u17) 2012-2015
Lineman Coach and former Highland Wildcats NT/DT has accepted an offer to go to Stirling University where he has the opportunity to play for the 2013 and 2014 BUCS National Champions the Stirling Clansmen. As a result of this he will be unable to coach the line for the Highland Wildcats through the 2015 post-season due to the Clansmen’s training regime. Here is his football story so far.
Davie Grant first joined the Highland Wildcats back in 2008 at the age of 14 as a junior flag football player. When he joined he wasn’t in the best physical shape and was struggling to make his way through practices. Despite this he helped the Wildcats reach their first Junior UK Championship final back in 2009 where they played the Coventry Bears in the final. The Wildcats won convincingly in a 53-0 rout and became UK Champions for the first time with the young Grant apart of the team.
The Year after Davie moved up the ranks into the under 17 kitted team where he developed his skills as a lineman. Over that season he gradually improved and started to become a dangerous defensive threat which helped the Wildcats win their first Scottish kitted championship in over 5 years. As a result of his growing ability he won the 2010 Blitz Award for the Most Improved Player.
In 2011 Davie became a truly extraordinary player for his age as he demolished every single Centre that had the misfortune of getting in his way. This helped the Wildcats finish the regular season 14-0-1. He then won his second UK championship and his last one as a player when the Highland side won a nail biting final against the Woodham Warriors where the Highlanders won 38-34. This was after trailing by 2 points with only six seconds to go. As a result for his hard work he won the Defensive Lineman of the year at the 2011 Blitz Awards.
In 2012 he was no longer eligible to play at youth level and as the senior team pulled out of the league he couldn’t play domestically. But instead of just simply quitting he became a part of the coaching staff and helped develop the next generation of linemen. In that same year was also selected for the Football University (FBU) Europe Select team after impressing the coaches down at the Stirling Camp in September that year. Whilst with FBU Europe he played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas where he played against, the British Columbia.
He then played his last season with the Wildcats in 2013 with the newly formed u19 team where he continued to show off his ability at the 11 man game. Despite Davie’s best efforts the Wildcats couldn’t qualify for the post season as they finished the season on a 3-4-1 record but his impact was felt across the division. As a result of his performances throughout his career with the Highlanders he won two awards at the Blitz Awards which followed. The first he won was the Best Lineman for 2013 and his second award of the night was the Blitz Achievement Award for his years of service with the club. In 2014 he concentrated on coaching and won his first Britbowl title as a coach and helped the team retain the Scottish Championship for the 5th time in a row.
Comments and Other Stuff
On a personal note when I was playing for the Junior Wildcats last year I was struggling to find a position which suited me. This meant that I was training with nearly every single Wildcats coach last year. Despite his scary nature on the field, Davie always made sure that everyone who went on his line was pushed hard but would always help those who were struggling. He would often take me to the side and help me go through stances and moves when I was with the D-Line. Although I ended up playing Running Back I am happy that I had the opportunity to train under his wing.
Head Coach, Robbie Paulin commented, “I remember when I first saw Davie at Inverness High School when we delivered flag football sessions there. He took some convincing to come along but I knew the sport could help him a lot…and that we could benefit from having him part of the team. He wasn’t the best athlete and struggled physically at first but he is living proof that determination and hard work can achieve amazing results. He is one of the highest achievers we’ve ever had come through the Wildcats and beyond his playing, he’s been a valued member of my staff. I know he’ll go on to do great things and look forward to the last few games with him on our sideline going in to Britbowl and the Scottish Final for U19.”