Luke Davis of Kingsland will play football on the same field that some of the biggest names in the sport compete: AT&T Stadium in Arlington, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
And he’s only 11 years old.
Davis landed an invitation to the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, which is Sunday, June 28. He is one of three Texans that will play in the championship game featuring the best in his age group from across the country. On Monday, he’ll compete in a showcase.
“We’re going to see how he ranks up there,” said his dad, Rich. “They’re taking the top players from California, Florida. That’s who’ll be there: kids from throughout the U.S.”
Luke sees it as an opportunity to improve his skills.
“I want to see new people and how good they are and where I need to get better at,” he said.
Luke has been playing quarterback since he was 4 years old. He enjoys the position because he has to know what his offensive teammates are supposed to do on every play “and throwing the ball ’cause it’s fun.” He also plays defensive back.
Football is a family affair for the Davises. Rich is the head coach of Luke’s Kingsland Youth Football team. Mother Chisholm is always in the stands.
“I’m the number one fan,” she said. “I’m the loudest one in the stands.”
Luke’s no stranger to competition as he’s grown up the youngest of four boys. Football, though, is his passion, not something he felt pressured to play.
“Honestly, we didn’t want him playing,” Rich said. “It wasn’t Mom and Dad who pushes him on the field.”
Luke pushes himself.
He gets to youth football practices 30 minutes early to work on additional passing drills, footwork, and technique. After practice, he sticks around to go over passing routes with receivers. He also does strengthening exercises like pushups.
The 11-year-old participates in other competitions and opportunities outside the Kingsland Youth Football League. In 2018, he entered the Texas Football Showcase that featured youths from 10 counties. After the tryout, officials picked him as quarterback and kicker for the Texas Football Showcase game, where he threw a couple of touchdown passes.
Last year, he attended a four-day Offense-Defense sports camp in Austin. He was named the camp’s Most Valuable Player and earned an invitation to the Offense-Defense Bowl in San Diego on February 9. During that game, Luke threw three touchdown passes. He also lined up at running back and rushed for 100 yards. In the midst of it all, he played middle linebacker on defense.
The bowl organizers presented Luke with the Outstanding Communicator Award.
“My head swelled,” said father Rich.
Chisholm noted that, at the bowl game’s first practice, Luke was teamed with several larger athletes. Turns out, Luke was told to report to the practice with 15- and 16-year-old athletes.
“They had him on the wrong field,” she said.
But instead of complaining, Luke simply went to work.
“All I was hoping for was ‘There has to be more people (my size) out here,’” he recalled thinking.
“They got it straight after about fifteen or twenty minutes,” Rich said with a laugh.
“And then, I could breathe again,” Chisholm added.
The good news is Luke’s older brothers are all more than 6 feet tall.
“I think he’s bigger at 11 than all our other kids were,” Rich said. “Hopefully, he gets his growth spurt early.”