KAYSVILLE — The highlight of Josh Godfrey’s coaching career was last season, when his Clearfield High baseball team handed Davis its first loss of the season in the first round of the 5-A playoffs.

It was the clearest indication to date that Clearfield was no longer a doormat, like it was when he took over the team following the 2013-14 school year. And it came at the expense of Godfrey’s alma mater — Godfrey graduated from Davis in 1995. 

Godfrey expects Clearfield’s star will be bright again next year with 10 seniors and 10 juniors, but he’ll be in a different dugout. Actually, the very one he left full of heartbreak two months ago.

Godfrey accepted the position of head baseball coach at Davis, filling the spot vacated just over a week ago following the retirement of longtime coach Dave Leo.

“I’d like to see Davis be even more successful than they have been,” Godfrey said.

Godfrey certainly has the credibility after turning the Falcons around. Clearfield won just seven games in 2014, but qualified for a region play-in game for the 4-A state tournament in his first season in 2015. In 2016, the Falcons made the playoffs as the fourth seed from Region 1 and won a pair of games in the one-loss bracket before losing to Davis.

This past season, Clearfield once again qualified for the playoffs as the fourth seed from Region 1 and defeated Davis in an 11-inning marathon in the first round. The Falcons then lost two in a row to conclude their season.

Pitching has been a critical component of Clearfield’s rise to prominence. Chase Stratton recorded a 2.98 ERA in 42 1/3 innings as a senior in 2016, and Austin Coleman recorded a 1.62 ERA in 60 1/3 innings this past season.

Such success is hardly surprising given Godfrey’s background. Godfrey pitched at Davis before going on to pitch at College of Eastern Utah and BYU.

“Pitching’s my thing, and that’s why I think we’ve been pretty good at Clearfield,” Godfrey said. “It’s kind of my specialty.”

Godfrey will be tasked with trying to rebuild a Davis pitching staff that loses four hurlers to graduation who accounted for 159 1/3 of the total 171 innings throughout the season. Those four pitchers – Jaxon Knight, Dom Fuller, Ben Rigby and Austin Birrell – were the only Davis pitchers to start a game.

Godfrey hopes to be able to use the experience of Clearfield beating Davis to help the Darts improve. He suspects the Davis players may have underestimated Clearfield.

“You’ve got to take every game and respect the opponent and respect the game of baseball because you never know what can happen on any given day,” Godfrey said.

Clearfield High athletic director Curtis Hulse said there have already been applicants for the position left by Godfrey but that it will be opened through the school district. He estimated the process of hiring a new coach could take about two to three weeks.

Contact Standard-Examiner sports reporter Ryan Comer at rcomer@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @RyanComerSe and on Facebook.

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