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Charles Davis always admired the late Clyde King, the highly respected coach, manager, general manager and front-office executive for the New York Yankees and other Major League Baseball organizations.
King, who called Goldsboro home, appreciated, in turn, the professional and life approach of Davis, the retired head baseball coach and athletic director at Charles B. Aycock High (2017).
Thus, the connection was extremely special when the Wilson Hot Stove League, during its 44th annual banquet Jan. 26, saluted Davis for the Clyde King Excellence in Coaching Award.
“This award is special and Clyde King is special to me,” Davis commented in acceptance remarks. “His priorities of faith, family and baseball — in that order — left a lasting impression on me.”
Davis hailed King for not being afraid to express his belief in Jesus Christ.
Announcing the award was King’s daughter, Princie Evans.
A 1982 graduate of Beddingfield High, Davis excelled as a right-handed pitcher for the Bruins, Wilson American Legion Post 13, Mount Olive College and North Carolina Wesleyan College.
He began his coaching career as Mike Fox’s assistant at Wesleyan for two years. Then came a brief stop at Norwayne Middle before embarking upon a 27-year career at CBA — where the baseball field is named in his honor.
Davis proceeded to win 512 games and compile an astounding .734 winning percentage. His Golden Falcons captured 13 conference championships and five tournament titles and finished first or second in the conference 25 of his 27 years.
CBA qualified for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs 25 of those years, seizing the 3-A championship in 2017. Davis guided the Falcons to runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2015.
Davis was tabbed coach of the year on 11 occasions and region coach of the year thrice. He has been enshrined into the University of Mount Olive and George Whitfield halls of fame.
The acclaimed coach told the audience he was inspired by his former coaches — the late E.D. Hall, Alton Britt and Tommy Hawkins.
Davis, accompanied by his wife, Rhonda; daughter, Connor; and son, Kyle, said he was fortunate to coach quality players of high character and to be surrounded by outstanding assistant coaches — most of whom were former players. He commended administrative and community support.
“A coach should be remembered for his impact on his players,” expressed Davis, who indicated his greatest reward was influencing young people to become outstanding citizens.