Albany Pop Warner mourns the loss of a beloved coach

October 02, 2018 06:44 PM

ALBANY -- The 13th homicide victim in Albany this year is much more than a crime statistic.  Joseph Davis was a mentor and an Albany Pop Warner football coach. 

His young team has now lost two coaches to gunfire in the past three months. 


Davis, known as Coach Seven, worked with the Albany Falcons Pee-Wee team.  He was a mentor, a father, a father figure to many, and a balanced coach. 

"Very outspoken," said Darmel Ricks, with a laugh.  "No walking on my field!  Tuck those shirts in!  When Coach Seven is around, kids know it's serious."

Coach Seven, like all the coaches, volunteered his time and effort. 

"For the love of the game, for the love of the kids, and to keep these kids on a great path so they won't wander into the streets.  We just try to keep them busy," said Ricks, who is an assistant coach and vice president of the board. 

He said they try to stop the kids early from going down the wrong path. 

Coach Seven died after being shot outside Club Phoenix in Albany early Saturday. 

That weekend, his team won.  Their score was 47.  They believe that number meant something:  "four-seven" was "for Seven," their coach.  

"At the end of the day, he had a heart of gold," said Eric Kersey, treasurer and executive board member.  "He treated all kids equal.  And one thing I can say, he loved every kid out there."

The PeeWee team was already reeling from losing Coach Elijah Cancer in July, when he was shot to death trying to break up a fight in Albany. 

"We don't know how they're going to come back from this," said Kersey.  "Two coaches in a few months on the same team that they looked up to."

"We're going to live out Coach Seven's legacy and his dream.  And we had a purpose going into the season.  We're doing this for Elijah Cancer.  We're going to continue for Coach Seven," said Acting Head Coach Damin Waring, Sr. 

They say they will get through this. 

"Coach Seven, we love you," said Waring.  "And we're going to continue what you wanted us to do.  And we're going to make you proud.  We're going to make you proud.  And we've got your kids.  We're going to hold them down.  This community is going to come together and we're going to take care of those kids."

On Sunday, October 7, Coach Seven's team has a game at 2:00 at Bleecker Stadium in Albany.  Some other Pop Warner teams from other communities have indicated they will be there to show their support.  


Kumi Tucker

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