New year, new coach


Photo provided by Avery Ehrman

Joe Davidyock leads the team during a practice at Mallard Creek High School in Charlotte, NC

Avery Ehrman, Staff Writer

    A new era of RJ Reynolds football is ahead as we welcome new head football coach Joe Davidyock to the program. After years of losing records, heartbreaking losses, and stressfully close games, there are hopes for better seasons ahead as he brings many things to the table. 

    Starting in New Jersey and slowly making his way south, Davidyock has coached and played many levels of intense football. He joins the RJR family hoping to improve the program, develop relationships with players, and start a new life here in Winston-Salem.

    “I already knew I wanted to coach, so I started coaching for UNCG’s club football team,” Davidyock said. “After that, I got a job at Bishop McGuinness as the quarterback coach.” 

    Davidyock would go on to spend two years at Southeast Guilford before going to Mallard Creek in Charlotte. To him, these experiences helped him polish his coaching skills and give him the knowledge he needs to succeed.

    In all his years of coaching, Davidyock has been lucky enough to be surrounded by various athletes and gain the experience and knowledge to coach all styles of play. 

    “I’ve been fortunate enough to be surrounded by different individuals and change my coaching to fit the kids that I have around me at that time,” Davidyock said. “I think that’s why RJR is great because I see kids that are more well off just like I did in my earlier years, and then I see all the other different types of kids I’ve coached all in one place.”

    With all of his players, he hopes to connect with them deeper than football, forming relationships and being the role model everyone needs. 

    “I am a big believer that mental health is a real thing nowadays, and I always want to know how they’re doing. Davidyock said. “I always want to know how their family is doing because I think a lot of adults think that kids don’t have real problems or real struggles.” 

    After a player-coach meeting a few weeks back, it is clear to both Davidyock and the team as a whole that through hard work, dedication, and developing team chemistry, RJR can have successful seasons in the future. 

    It was just this past year when Davidyock drove through Winston-Salem on his way to Charlotte. He expressed his thoughts as he drove by the gym for the very first time. 

    “What’s the story of this place?” Davidyock said. “Why is it right around four wins, three wins a year? Everyone I talked to about this place, for the most part, said this place can win, this place can be successful. This place has the kids in it. You just gotta pull the potential out of it.” 

  To pull the potential out of the players at RJR, Davidyock is planning to begin preseason workouts in the coming weeks. He believes that a successful team starts with successful role models and is expecting the rising seniors to be excellent leaders by motivating the team to improve during their final season at RJR. 

    “The best Coaches in my life have influenced me to be more confident, take up leadership and encourage and motivate my peers.” Junior Luke Sanders said. “I hope all of the new coaches will continue this and bring energy and discipline to the program.”

    Hopes are high for the fresh start Davidyock is bringing to RJR, and players are looking forward to having winning seasons in the future. A successful football team is right around the corner and the RJR community is beyond excited to welcome coach Davidyock.