MESA — Nick Davila won’t take the credit.
The Arizona Rattlers quarterback surpassed 30,000 passing yards and 700 passing touchdowns in May. But in discussing those milestones, he pointed to his team first.
“It wasn’t just a goal that I accomplished,” said Davila, now in his seventh season with the Rattlers. “It was a goal that my whole team accomplished and any receiver that helped me reach those milestones.”
One of those receivers is Rod Windsor. Both he and Davila joined the Rattlers in 2010, and Windsor said he knew from the start that they could do great things together.
“We both were young and hungry and had a desire to play football and loved the game,” Windsor said. “I think that’s really what it is – we both love the game and take it seriously.”
Now each player sits at or near the top in every statistical category for their respective positions this season.
But even prior to joining the Rattlers, Davila was making his mark in arena football, setting single-season franchise records for passing yards and touchdowns while playing for arenafootball2’s Spokane Shock in 2008 and 2009.
It was that high level of play that drew Rattlers head coach Kevin Guy to recruit him to come play in Arizona.
“I watched the film, liked everything I saw on film,” Guy said. “But I wanted to make sure that when you’re picking a quarterback for your team, you want to make sure you’re getting the right guy.”
So Guy visited Davila at his home in California and it was that meeting, during which Guy got to know Davila the person, that really sold him on bringing in the quarterback.
“Got to see his family, the environment he’s from, the culture he’s from and everything said to me that he’s a winner and what we’re looking for at the position,” Guy said.
Since he first arrived in the desert, Davila has never tried to change the player or the person that he is. He said he always tries to be himself and let his decisions on and off the field inspire his teammates.
“Just try to be the first guy in and the last guy to leave,” Davila said. “Just try to lead by example, because that’s the best way to lead in any sport or any position.”
Windsor said teammates take Davila’s example as a guide for how they should play the game.
“Anytime you come in and you do all this great stuff for your organization and you got players that come in and see that and look up to that, you just become a leader automatically,” Windsor said.
Guy said Davila’s style of leadership is centered around his personal relationships with individual players.
“If he talks to a player and wants to show some leadership with another player, he usually calls them off one on one, talks to them,” Guy said.
Davila led the Rattlers to ArenaBowl championships in 2012, 2013 and 2014. His goal each year continues to be getting his team into a position for another one.
“I think the number one goal for me going into this season, especially being so close to getting to the championship game last year, is making sure we get to the ArenaBowl and host it and win it,” Davila said.
Championships are also what Davila said will eventually define his career.
“As we all know, quarterbacks all get measured on how many championships you got and that’s a team goal, so that’s the only goal that matters to me,” Davila said.
This unwavering focus on winning championships will always be Davila’s driving force. For him, it’s team glory that will be remembered, not personal milestones.
“Records and all that stuff will eventually be broken, but championships they can never take away,” Davila said.
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