Marque Davis had an outstanding athletic career that started at Dos Palos High School and continued to Fresno State. But beyond that, there is one thing above all else that made Davis stand out, according to his high school football coach, Mike Sparks–” that smile.”

Davis, whose two brothers and one sister, Amanda, also had standout athletic careers as DPHS Broncos, passed away last week at the age of 43 after a long battle with cancer.

“Marque had a smile that everyone recognized,” said Sparks, who is now retired.

“All the positives you can say about a person you can say about Marque. He was a great player, a great teammate, and a great student, He was always on time for practice.”

Davis also stood out on the basketball court and was a centerfielder on the Bronco baseball team.

On the gridiron, Sparks remembers two plays that saw Davis, a three-year varsity player, come through in clutch situations for the Broncos.

“We were playing Washington Union in a close game and in overtime, we ran a play off tackle and didn’t block the linebacker. Marque managed to sidestep him and score,” said Sparks. “The other came when I made a mistake.  We went into ‘victory formation’ to run out the clock.  Only thing, there was too much time on the clock.  Next thing you know, it’s 3rd and 12 and we may have to punt. We gave the ball to Marque and he gained 13 yards.”

In 1998, Davis led the Broncos to an undefeated season and a Valley Championship as a running back and cornerback.  His football jersey No. 6 is now retired.

Along with younger brothers Rodney and Leonard and sister Amanda, the Davis’s have left a huge legacy at Dos Palos.

“The thing is, if you ask different people, one of the Davis brothers will be their favorite.  They are all Top 10,” said Sparks.

Bill Van Worth, who also coached Davis in football, will go a step further.  Of all the Bronco athletes who have competed and excelled over the years, he feels Davis is Top 5.

“He and Rodney spent a lot of time at my house and I would drive them and my son to baseball tournaments in Fresno,” said Van Worth. “He played hard and practiced hard. This loss hurts. We know what kind of athlete he was. He was a good kid from a good family.  He was also a good leader. He definitely was one of our best athletes.”

Upon graduating in 1999, Davis accepted a scholarship from Fresno State and was a wide receiver for the Bulldogs. Two years later, brother Rodney joined the team as a running back, and Sparks, Van Worth and a whole bunch of Bronco football fans headed to Fresno to cheer on the brothers.

Longtime Fresno State head football coach Pat Hill said that Davis’s success stemmed from one thing.

“The reason he was such a good man is he, and Rodney, came from a strong family,” said Hill. “They were both great teammates and then to watch Marque become a strong husband and strong father made me proud that I got to know him for the five years he played for me but also after.”

Hill recalled that Davis continued to battle cancer and never got down.

“I took him out to play golf and you could tell he was getting tired. Most guys would just stop, but Marque kept going and never complained.”

On the football field for the Bulldogs, Hill said that Davis was the consummate team player.

“He wasn’t a prima donna.  He didn’t pout if he didn’t get the ball. He ran routes well, he caught the ball well, he ran well after he caught the ball, and he was a relentless blocker.”

Hill said that the 2001 team, which was ranked as high as No. 8 in the country, featured a receiving trio of Bernard Berrian and the Davis brothers.
“I will match those three up against any receiving trio in the nation,” Hill said. “Marque was a top-notch Div. I receiver.”

In his Bulldog career, Davis caught 138 passes and scored 14 touchdowns.

“The main thing I want people to know is the type of person Marque became after college, a father, a provider, and a husband,” said Hill. “He was just a great member of the community, a great success story in all phases.” Among Davis’s survivors are his wife Candyce and six children. A GoFundMe page to support the family has been established.

David Borboa