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Be it football or airplanes, Dartmouth freshman Golick expects to take flight

  • Incoming Dartmouth freshman punter Davis Golick in action for Georgia's Woodward Academy in an undated photograph. Warren Bond photography

  • Incoming freshman Davis Golick comes to Dartmouth with mutual interests in punting footballs and flying airplanes. Courtesy Golick family

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/17/2021 9:47:39 PM
Modified: 7/17/2021 9:47:39 PM

When incoming freshman Dartmouth College punter Davis Golick isn’t kicking footballs into the sky, he goes up into the sky himself.

Golick has been flying planes as a hobby for more than two years. There was no epiphany that led him to the cockpit. He doesn’t have any immediate family members who fly. He just, one day, decided it would be a cool thing to try.

He now goes up several times a week, weather permitting. He enjoys it because it’s fun, but he said it’s also relaxing and helps him refresh mentally.

“It’s one thing that I have to be completely present for,” Golick said. “I can’t be thinking about anything other than what I’m doing right now. There’s no school, social stuff or any of the other things that might be bothering me that day, or whatever else. There’s nothing else except the present moment, because you gotta stay on top of it when you’re up there.”

Golick, a College Park, Ga., native, flies out of Cobb County International Airport in Kennesaw, Ga. The furthest he’s flown is around 60 nautical miles to Murphy, N.C., which he did to fulfill a training requirement of completing a solo cross-country flight — at least 50 nautical miles in each direction. After he landed those flights, he was filled with pride in his accomplishment.

Golick said he wasn’t nervous the first time he flew with an instructor because he was simply eager to learn, and he knew the instructor would step in if he messed up. His first solo flight was more nerve-wracking, however.

“It was definitely crazy,” Golick said. “It didn’t really hit me until I was done. While I was flying, I really wasn’t thinking about it. But once I was back on the ground and done for that day, that’s when I was like, ‘Oh my God, I just flew an airplane, all by myself.’ ”

Golick said he plans to continue flying after he arrives at Dartmouth. He said Big Green head coach Buddy Teevens mentioned the Lebanon Municipal Airport to him and assured him he’d be able to stick with it. Golick found that encouraging.

Dartmouth associate head coach and special teams coach Sammy McCorkle said he’d never met a recruit who flew planes until Golick. Even though that hobby is inherently more dangerous than, say, video games, it didn’t give McCorkle any hesitation about Golick.

He just saw a quality player and an interesting person.

“Maybe he could give me a little quicker ride down to Georgia when I’m down there recruiting next time,” McCorkle said with a smile. “Very impressive, though. Just a good kid. He’s got a great personality.”

Golick didn’t grow up punting.

During his youth football days, Golick played more physical positions like linebacker and running back. And he didn’t enjoy it. After his eighth-grade season, as his peers started to outsize and outpace him, he pondered giving up football.

His older brother by two years, Marshall, was a kicker for their high school team at Woodward Academy. Marshall brought Davis along to shag balls one day, and he gave his younger brother some pointers on punting. Davis knew that’s where he belonged on the field.

Woodward head coach John Hunt said Davis improved remarkably throughout his high school career.

“Initially, when he started kicking, he wasn’t the best,” Hunt said. “But he’s just very diligent and hard-working. He’s spent many hours learning how to punt and learning the techniques, the drops and all the things involved with it. And basically just worked himself into a tremendous punter.”

The job can be thankless — if the punter is on the field a lot, the team’s offense isn’t doing well. But Golick doesn’t mind not getting credit. He’s content to go out and do his job well.

Hunt called Golick a legitimate weapon for Woodward. He said Woodward’s offense struggled at times last season, but Golick was consistently able to pin opponents inside the 10-yard line and flip the field position. McCorkle said that control and placement, along with stellar hang time, set Golick apart from other punters Dartmouth evaluated.

McCorkle said Golick could see action for Dartmouth quickly.

“I think, at his position, it’s a little bit easier for him to compete because it’s not the physical part of it,” McCorkle said. “The big thing we’re looking for (in) a guy that’s a punter or kicker (is) that they come in and they will have the ability to compete right away, and he definitely will have that opportunity. Our expectation is he will be playing for that starting job right away.”

Seth Tow can be contacted at stow@vnews.com.




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