On Thursday night, the Vikings will face off against the Texans in Houston in an NFL preseason finale for both teams. While they may be able to focus on game action in the heat of the moment, two Vikings assistant coaches will actually be thinking other games going on some 1,200 miles away.
That's because both Vikings offensive line coach Jeff Davidson and Minnesota defensive line coach Karl Dunbar will be missing the 2011 football debuts of their sons during the Vikings game. Nick Davidson, pictured at right, and his Eden Prairie (Minn.) High teammates will take on Champlin Park (Minn.) High while Karmichael Dunbar and the Prior Lake (Minn.) High Lakers face off against Wayzata (Minn.) High.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the younger Davidson is a new arrival at Eden Prairie, having enrolled in the school after his father was hired as the new offensive line coach under Vikings head man Leslie Frazier in the offseason.
Nick Davidson brings with him a full trophy chest of accolades won during his first three seasons of prep football in North Carolina (where his father was an assistant under former Panthers head coach John Fox) a career which has turned him into a full fledged blue chip prospect with offers from some 20 top Division I programs.
Meanwhile, the younger Dunbar is a stalwart contributor for Prior Lake, entering his final campaign while receiving collegiate football interest from a handful of Big Ten programs.
The Star-Tribune noted that the Dunbar family has fully intertwined Pioneer Lakes and Vikings football, with Karmichael Dunbar helping move equipment during summer training camp workouts and his father contributing to the Prior Lake coaching staff during the offseason and hosting a three-day lineman camp for the team's players.
"It's funny because I never really wanted to coach him when he was growing up," Karl Dunbar told the Star-Tribune. "I was always a spectator."
Whether new to the area or a long-standing part of the community, both coaches said it would be tough to miss out on the first game of their sons' senior campaigns.
"That's the way it goes," Jeff Davidson told the Star-Tribune. "He knows the only way I'll miss a game is if I have a game.
"I can be a fan on Friday night. I enjoy going and watching him play high school football."