After 500-plus rushing yard campaigns in each of his last two years, senior running back David Knapp looks to continue his personal success while aiming for Guilford to gain further respect and prominence as a program.
David Knapp wants Guilford football to become a force in the SCC and his play the last two campaigns makes his desire crystal clear.
Following in his brother's footsteps, the senior took to the gridiron for the Indians in dressing for varsity games as a freshman, then became a big-stage regular by rushing for over 500 yards in both his sophomore and junior seasons while aiding Guilford's improvement from a 4-6 mark in 2011 to 5-5 last fall.
"Those 1,000-plus yards the last two years just came from training in the offseason. But it also couldn't have happened without the help of my offensive linemen up front," says David, who took home the team's Bo Mooradian Award in 2012. "I always want to help this team win. I don't want a loss or something to fall on a thing that's beyond my control. I want Guilford to be looked as a team to beat rather than the obvious win for other teams."
While David doles out praise to his front-line support, he also feels that swiftness and a smash-mouth style of running can light the fire to success.
"A great running back comes more from help of your guys in front of you, yet you also need that speed and quickness," says David, who also plays lacrosse for the Indians. "I am more of a straight downfield runner and I just love trying to gain even more yards after contact."
Head Coach Tom Unger adds that David not only knows how to get business done on the gridiron, but also off it in conducting himself as a student-athlete.
"His consistency and commitment to the program are invaluable and extremely appreciated," says Unger. "He really stepped up last year on both sides of the ball when [senior back] KC Horton went down with an injury. In a big [SCC] Division II game against Foran, he returned an interception for a school record 81 yards in Guilford's big win. He was given the Bo Mooradian award for his efforts at the end of the season. We use this award to honor a player that plays the game the right way, does the little things, and quietly goes about his business game in and game out."
In addition to his 212 ground yards against Foran last November, David was building upon momentum for his group after two touchdown catches and another rushing score versus Law 10 days earlier.
"After KC went down, I didn't think the load would fall as much onto me as it did. But I knew I would have to step up," says David, who will also be a lacrosse team captain this spring. "It felt nice knowing I had that interception return record, yet it's more about bringing Guilford to where we need to be. I want to help get us to the next level and be a notable team to others."
One category you won't see David accumulate statistics in is penalties as he feels that high school players should act like they have been there before in all facets.
"On the field, I don't think players should be showboating," says David, who is looking at schools in the Boston area to study business. "Off of it, they need to conduct themselves correctly and get all of their schoolwork done, as well."
Looking toward his final foray with Guilford, David wants to combine his yard total of the previous two years into one while knocking off an old rival at season's end.
"Personally, I want to get above 1,000 rushing yards this year," says David, who thanks all of his coaches and linemen during his time. "As a team, we want to be above .500, beat Hand, and be noticed. I want other teams to be scared of us."