FATHER AND SON — Navy linebackers coach Justin Davis, left, is pictured with his dad Rome Sports Hall of Famer Mike Davis.

RFA graduate Davis guiding Navy football team to unbeaten mark

Published Oct 15, 2017 at 9:00am

Justin Davis is back coaching the linebackers at the Naval Academy this year.

The Midshipmen’s record is 5-0 after last week’s thrilling last-second victory over Air Force. Many Rome coaches drove down to the game: Tom Barry, Dennis Skibitski, Mike Davis and Bob Skibitski to name just a few. 

Justin was a three-sport star for Rome Free Academy back in 1995. He was recruiting a boy from Charlotte Catholic (N.C.) last year and I met him downtown for dinner. He told me growing up in Rome, New York as a kid was a great childhood and he loves his hometown.

Justin and his beautiful wife Mary are the proud parents of a little girl named Gianna.

Charlie Malakie was an outstanding basketball player for St. Aloysius Academy (SAA) back in 1952. One night against Prebble Hill he scored an amazing 52 points. I don’t think any high school player from Rome has ever topped that city record. Charlie passed away a few years ago.

Ron Miner played varsity basketball for SAA back in 1953-54. I didn’t get a chance to watch him play as I was just a toddler but alumni have told me he was almost as good as his late brother Dave (RFA 1966). Ron was the reason I joined the Knights of Columbus back in 1972 because he was the best piano player ever. He would lead us in song at our meetings, and at dinners with our ladies we would sing along with him. Great memories.

The RFA girls varsity soccer team won the Tri-Valley League championship last Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Proctor. The Black Knights are now 13-1 for the year with 13 consecutive wins. This team might be Coach Bill Tagliaferri’s best coaching job ever.

Do you remember Gina Recco? She swam for the RFA swim team back in her day. Her daughter Taylor Recco is having a great senior year for the RFA soccer team. She plays defense mostly for the Black Knights and is also an excellent lacrosse athlete. She is being recruited by several colleges including Cortland State. 

Who has the best uniform in sports? My vote goes to the New York Ranger jersey.

Congratulations to my Teugega locker mate Tom Sestito for getting a championship ring from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Our city of Rome is so proud of him.

Congratulations to Gary Clemens and Ray Tarkowski for winning our Tuesday Night Golf League. They were both born in 1947 and beat Shawn Weiman and Brian Townsend who were born in the 1980s. Old guys rule!

Pick of the week: (College) Kansas State 28, TCU 24. The Horned Frogs, 6-0, will get upset by the Wildcats.

Pick of the week: (NFL) I don’t care anymore. 

This is my 25th year writing this sports column! Some people tell me how they love my work and yet sometimes I get criticized for my point of view. One day a few years ago when I was working for Nunn’s, a purchasing agent told me she puts my column in the bottom of her bird cage so she can watch her parrot poop on my picture. But then last week I get an email from a young man who goes to church at Rome Christian Center. He wrote that Pastor Ned Paquette read my column from the pulpit to his congregation keying in on my dad and respect for our Flag and the National Anthem. Wow, that made my day.

Ned Paquette and his lovely wife Sue came to Rome in 1976 on assignment from the Air Force. Ned gave up his career as a fighter pilot to become a minister of the gospel. His church, the Rome Christian Center, is on Turin Road where he is so loved by everyone who prays there.

Why do people want?

The front seats in a bus,

The center of the road when driving,

And the back seats when in church?