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Men's Soccer Captain Josh Davies Wraps up MC Career
From Southampton, England to central Mississippi, a look into Josh Davies soccer career
Within the past week, the Mississippi College men’s soccer team became the top seed in the Gulf South Conference (GSC), clinched a home playoff game, and became the thirteenth ranked team in the nation. Josh Davies, the team’s center back and captain for the last two seasons, played a major role in turning the team’s goals into a reality – and along the way, he realized plenty of goals of his own.
Davies is in his fifth season with the Choctaws. He has been a standard of the Choctaws’ lineup for half a decade. He has made 65 appearances, all of which have been starts, and 6 goals – a respectable number for a center back – over that time. Most impressive of all, though, are his staggering minutes. This past weekend, Davies crossed over 5700 career minutes on the pitch for the Choctaws.
For his achievements, he was both honored as a member of the First Team All-GSC and named GSC Defensive Player of the Year. This is his second year in a row to achieve both feats – a league first.
In fact, this is far from Davies' first experience with recognition in the GSC. He was a Second Team All-GSC member in 2019 and 2021. Then, he spent his 2022 season as one of the best players in the country: he was a First Team All-GSC member and GSC Defensive Player of the Year, as well as an NCAA Division II All-American. But Davies has not always been the pillar of success on the pitch that he is now.
Davies spent his childhood in Birmingham, England. He grew up hearing stories about his family’s success in soccer. His father played at a high level in England, and his grandfather was even offered a trial with Manchester City. He dreamed of playing at such a level as a child.
“I was always playing in the garden with a goal, or a wall on the side of the house,” Davies said.
Unfortunately, soccer practice required playing on Sundays. He and his family were passionate about their faith. The sport would have to wait.
When Davies moved south to Southampton at eleven years old, he had the chance to join the local club’s academy program. In many leagues around the world, teams have development systems in which they recruit young players long-term in order to monitor their growth as athletes. Davies spent the next three years dedicated to the club and honing his craft. He often had to miss school so that he could train with the team.
Despite his hard work and sacrifice, Davies’ dream was put on hold again. “I then was released after being told that I would never represent my country,” Davies said.
Later, one of Davies’ friends left England to play soccer in the states while he was in another club’s academy. It was inspirational for Davies.
“I stumbled across an opportunity that a former teammate took of going to America, and the rest, as they say, is history,” Davies said.
After researching and connecting with agencies that would get him recruited, Davies was introduced to Mississippi College. That is when he met Coach Kevin Johns.
“MC actually wasn’t too hard of a choice for me,” Davies said. “I had spoken with some coaches on the phone, and after talking to Kevin [Johns], I was excited about being there.”
Johns saw the potential in Davies, and Johns’ decision to recruit the athlete has worked out well for both parties. Johns has been the head soccer coach at Mississippi College for 18 seasons. In his time, he has had fantastic players, but Davies has helped the team achieve some of the best seasons in program history.
“His talent and leadership is one of the main reasons for the recent success of our program,” Johns said.
Davies has also spent his time at Mississippi College as one of the best students in the Gulf South Conference. He is a four-time GSC Academic Honor Roll member and a two-time GSC All-Academic team member. His hard work shows.
This year’s team is one of the tightest groups in the history of the program, and the sense of camaraderie has been spearheaded by Davies. Jackson Earle, a sophomore on the team, has enjoyed his two years with Davies as a leader.
“He is one of the most talented players in our program and exemplifies the core characteristics that make up a true leader,” Earle said. “He shows great humility to those who are not at his level by making jokes with others on the team. He also has a remarkable ability to get the best out of players by assessing their personality and how each individual can play to the best of their ability. He has shown time and time again he is the best qualified on our team to be our captain.”
Davies has played many roles for the Choctaws throughout his career. It will be a difficult transition for the team as they lose their captain and five-year starter at the end of the year. But the transition might be the hardest for Davies himself. He has spent so much time becoming a member of the community as a player, coach, and volunteer that he considers Clinton to be a second home.
“I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience here at MC,” Davies said. “I’ve had the best time of my life.”
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