The Duncan Banner
With the Duncan Demons football season just weeks away, head coach Jim Holloway knows the most important time of the year is just right around the corner.
The team will be younger in 2013 than a year ago – the team lost 15 seniors to graduation this offseason – and Holloway expects the next generation of Duncan players to fill the voids created by those departures.
“We lost a lot of really, really good high school football players this year,” Holloway said. “It’s a rebuilding year in the fact that we have to replace a lot of experience. But that does not change the goals or expectations for this year, which is to play for a state championship.”
Duncan will be tested early in the season, playing 2011 Class 5A State Champion Guthrie and defending state champion Carl Albert in the first three weeks. The difficulty schedule is something Holloway said will help the team as the season progresses.
“I’ve never been afraid to face a tough schedule,” Holloway said. “You have to beat good people to be good. I’ve coached teams that started 0-3, 1-3 and 1-6 that were championships teams.”
Replacing senior leaders like defensive linemen Derek McKnight and Caleb Longest, kicker, receiver and punter Jack Braught and quarterback Tanner Norton will be a new crop of talent for Duncan.
The Demons will return three starters on the offensive line with 6-foot-1, 275-pound senior Daniel Moore and 5-foot-9, 180-pound senior Alyx Turner. In the running game, 5-foot-9, 160-pound Je’Mario McCoy will be back as the team’s starting running back.
The defensive backfield will also bring some experience, with 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior Connor Kelly and 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior Mason Hightower returning as starting defensive backs.
“We have a lot of holes to fill coming into the year,” Holloway said. “A lot of the youngsters are going to have to come up and play a bigger role for us this year.”