Bluffdale • The top-ranked football team in Class 3A days sits snuggly among a nest of buildings just west of I-15 near the Point of the Mountain.
The location is so close to the elevated freeway curve between Salt Lake and Utah counties that it feels like a paraglider easily could swoop onto the Bluffdale campus.
Summit Academy, which draws students from the nearby cities of Draper, Lehi, Riverton, Herriman and elsewhere, has proven to be a good landing place for others, too.
Gavin Davey is one of those.
Davey, whose family lives in Herriman, is a senior wide receiver whose clutch ball-catching abilities has helped the Bears and their high-octane offense to the top of the 3A standings.
Davey was in the program at Summit Academy when Les Hamilton left Pleasant Grove to take over the Bears’ coaching job.
“This year, he’s become our go-to guy at wide receiver,” Hamilton said. “We’re a passing offense. For us, it’s huge to have a kid that runs great routes and is tough once he gets the ball in his hands.
School • Summit Academy
Year • Senior
Position • Wide receiver/cornerback
The Bears, which host Manti on Friday, have averaged 43.5 points a game while starting 4-0. And Davey did what Hamilton has grown accustomed to in last week’s 47-28 win at Kanab. The senior found the end zone on a critical fourth-down play.
Davey isn’t the biggest guy around the football field, even at a 3A school, but the 5-foot-10, 155-pound receiver is a proven danger to opposing defenses.
“What makes him so good is his explosiveness,” Hamilton said. “He’s really, really quick. Every time he touches the ball, he’s got a chance of going the distance. He’s just a great kid. He’s a team captain and just what Summit Academy is all about.”
To illustrate Davey’s explosiveness, he’s hit scored on five of his 14 receptions this season. It’s a skill that made Davey stand out to the new coach — although Davey and the other Summit Academy players didn’t quite know what to expect when Hamilton came to the school.
“Everyone was a little panicky,” Davey said. “We had a coach that most guys didn’t know and then he got fired, so we were like, ‘Who’s going to be our coach now?’ We didn’t know how coach Hamilton was, who he was. Everyone was a little worried.”
Summit Academy went 9-2 overall in Hamilton’s first year, but that was in Class 2A before the Bears got booted up to 3A this year.
“We came in worried about depth, and now that might actually be our strength,” Hamilton said. “Our numbers have grown and the school has grown. We’ve gone from 500 kids last year to 640 this year.”
One thing depth has done for the football team is allow most players to concentrate on offense or defense instead of playing both ways. Davey is one of the few who still goes both ways, coming in to play cornerback on third down.
“Whenever we need a big stop or a deep ball is coming, they just throw me in real quick,” Davey said.
As Davey looks over the 3A South competition, he thinks more-established foes like Juan Diego and Juab will provide a stiff test for the newcomers once the Bears open region play. That doesn’t mean they will shy away from the challenge.
“I think we size up against them pretty well,” Davey said. “We’ll bring something that they won’t see or expect at all.”