Imagine a tendon or ligament ripping from the pelvis and taking a piece of bone with it.
Then, less than two years later, how about a tear of a knee ligament and meniscus?
Two harsh injuries, two long rehabilitations.
Despite losing two of his high school seasons due to injury, Medical Lake’s Ethan Davis said his setbacks were only a precursor to the successes he is striving for at his next stop, San Francisco State University.
“Ultimately, I want to leave my biggest impact in college wrestling more than high school because obviously it’s the biggest stage where you have to perform and the more memorable it is,” Davis said. “I want to prove that I can be effective and successful at the next level.”
Since the seventh grade, Davis had Matt Leenhouts as his wrestling coach. Leenhouts has seen Davis grow in all facets of his life – he also saw the debilitating injuries, specifically the injury to his hip.
“You know, I had concerns,” Leenhouts said. “I mean, it was a pretty serious injury his sophomore year, and I truly, we didn’t know if we’re going to have him back.”
Davis’ talent was never the question. Leenhouts always believed him to be the best wrestler in the state. If he could just make it back, even at 70%, he would be in good shape. It was time for Davis to get to work – something he is well-accustomed to.
“Athletic-wise, he’s just nonstop,” Leenhouts said. “He studies the craft of wrestling and constantly seeks to improve, and always wants to get extra work in.”
During his recovery from his injuries, he was introduced to Tanner Davis, a physical therapist and sports performance trainer.
Tanner Davis is a former Division I wrestler who helped lead Ethan Davis toward a life of working out on a consistent basis.
Another influential member of Ethan Davis’ inner circle was Donnie Santos, owner of Gas House Gym. Ethan’s plan is to move into business and marketing, so he and Santos talk business and, of course, bodybuilding.
Davis’ triumphs on the mat were instrumental, but that didn’t blind him to his schoolwork, nor his personal decisions.
“He has always maintained excellent grades, his homework is the priority, the choices he makes, and what he does, he’s dedicated 100%,” mother Amee Davis said.
“He always surrounded himself with good people,” dad Blake Davis said. “That’s why I’m proud. He has great judgment. He knows what his path is, and he surrounds himself with people who can help him get wherever he wants to go.”
He also had the guidance from two older sisters who helped provide good judgment and motivation.
That motivation helped push him to finish high school early in January, so he has been able to focus on rehab as well as studying for a test to become a certified personal trainer.
Now as he heads to the Bay Area, he is preparing for the transition from Medical Lake to San Francisco.
“I am pretty confident in the individuals who I already know down there in San Francisco,” Davis said. “I think I’m going to have a pretty good team behind me to be successful as far as exploring the area and just being successful transitioning into adult life.”
His time as a Cardinal helped build him as a person and provided him with his foundation to be comfortable with a move down the West Coast.
“There are a lot of individuals who helped me develop as a person,” Davis said. “And I think if I do have any challenges leaving, it’s going to be just not having them out the back door to talk and seek advice from in some sensitive situations.”
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