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December 12, 2013

DMS to establish sixth-grade athletics program

DUNCAN — In an effort to instill more school spirit in its sixth-graders, Duncan Middle School is working to establish a sixth-grade athletics program.

During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Duncan Board of Education, Rodney Calhoun, Duncan Public Schools assistant superintendent, talked to board members about the program and the goals associated with sixth-grade athletics. Calhoun said the biggest expense schools accrue while establishing a sixth-grade program is the cost of equipment. He said the Duncan Middle School has plenty of excess equipment to be used for the sixth-grade program.

“Last week, Ponca City launched a sixth-grade program,” Calhoun said. “They spent $200,000 on equipment.”

Lawton Public Schools also has a sixth-grade program, Calhoun said. One goal for Duncan would be to create a short season for the Duncan sixth-graders, who would face other sixth-grade athletic programs, including Lawton’s.

He said the impact of athletics and other extra-curricular activities include an increase in attendance, a positive turn in grades and improvements in attitudes.

“Right now, the sixth-graders have no school spirit,” Calhoun said. “This would build that.”

Currently, few extra-curricular activities exist at Duncan High School, including band, music and cross country. Calhoun said sixth-graders wanting to be involved in athletics have to do so through various athletics groups through Abe Raizen Park. Through the park, the students go up against other students at the middle school and against some elementary-aged students.

He said part of the middle school’s sixth-grade program would be aimed at making the students feel like they’re part of the school. He said the program would give them more pride in their school. Additionally, Calhoun said the program would also drum up interest in Duncan athletics later in their school careers. He said there is an increased need for more girls involved in athletics.

“We have to get those interests going,” he said.

What is planned for the program is to add an additional game to Duncan Middle School game days. Instead of seventh and eighth-grade students playing their games, the sixth-graders would also have a game the same day, more likely before the older students play.

Although brought before the school board, the sixth-grade program was an informational item, and no action was taken by the board members.

Calhoun said the Duncan Middle School administrators and faculty are excited about the program, and he hopes the students will get involved.

“Everybody loves the idea,” Calhoun said.

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4-20 bestinshow - carshow.jpg

Deral Knight of Rockport, Texas, won the Best In Show Award for his 1959 Chevy Corvette, which he first bought for his wife and then later restored to its current mint condition. Knight is a former Duncan resident.

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