By Ray Hamill — Hunter Davis is getting set to join the RiverHawks revolution.
The St. Bernard’s senior announced this week that he will be taking his talents to Umpqua College in Oregon after graduation, joining a baseball program that has just been re-established after a 35-year hiatus, and a team that appears to have a very bright future.
The RiverHawks are coached by Jeremiah Robbins, a legend in college baseball circles who has won three NAIA national championships and someone who has the program pointed in a very positive direction.
“They’re loaded with talent,” St. Bernard’s head coach Matt Tomlin said. “They could compete for a state championship in Oregon.”
Davis has been one of the top high school catchers in the H-DNL in recent years and a four-year starter for the Crusaders.
He was also the MVP of the Little 4 as a junior and says he is excited about the opportunity to play at Umpqua for more than one reason.
Not only is he looking forward to improving his game under the tutelage of Robbins, but he likes the fit of Umpqua.
“I really like Oregon in general,” he said. “I always imagined I would end up there for college.
“And Jeremiah’s got a lot of good things he can teach me.”
Davis will also be close to family in Roseburg, an important factor in his decision, as was a visit to campus.
“I went up there for baseball camps and I really liked the energy and how it felt up there,” he said.
The senior standout, who was a two-sport athlete at St. Bernard’s, suffered a torn ACL late in the basketball season, and says he may red-shirt his first year at Umpqua.
When Davis is back to full health, however, Tomlin has no doubt he will have a huge impact for the RiverHawks.
“He’s one of the best high school players I ever coached,” the St. Bernard’s head coach said. “He’s an above average catcher with a great arm, and then he steps up to the plate and he’s a middle-of-the-order guy. He hits for average and he has power, and he has a high baseball IQ.
“He’s just been an outstanding player for our program. They get a really good one with Hunter.”
Davis says he will carry a lot of memories from his time playing at St. Bernard’s, particularly the time with his teammates.
“I’ll remember all the teammates I got to play with and all the friends I got to make,” he said. “And I’ll remember a lot of the lessons the coaches taught us.”
He’ll also remember this group’s collective fighting spirit, something they showed on a lot of sporting arenas together.
“No matter what happened, we were all there for each other,” he said. “We were like family.”
The coaches too had a big influence on the senior standout and helped prepare him for the next level, including hitting coach Aaron Lee who put him in contact with Robbins.
“My biggest influence I’d definitely say are the number of coaches I have had,” he said. “They’ve been a big part of my success, and my dad has always been there, he’s been a huge part of it, and my family, for their support.”
Robbins, an Oregon native, played one year at College of the Redwoods in the mid 90s.