Heading into his senior season, Duncan pitcher Tyler Polk has already signed to play collegiate baseball at Oklahoma State and will also be one of five honored with the Ferguson Jenkins Outstanding Student Athlete Award later this month.
According to a letter to Polk from the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center, the Jenkins Award honors the top five baseball players in Oklahoma.
Polk, who has been the top pitcher for the Demons and also one of the top offensive threats for Duncan High School, was honored to be mentioned for this award.
“I was extremely honored to be accepted into that group, because it is a really elite group and (I'm) just excited to be a part of (it),” Polk said. “My work ethic had a lot to do with it, because I always wanted to work to be the best and keep on pushing ... and I worked to be a good pitcher.”
The last two seasons for Duncan have seen two trips deep into postseason play including getting into the Class 5A State Tournament during Polk’s sophomore season in 2016.
Polk is hoping to have a good senior season with expectations high around the diamond.
“I’m hoping we have a really good chance to win state,” Polk said. “We have a lot of good players coming through, and (I) hope we can use them in the right way and continue to do good.”
Demons first year head coach Erik Hughes said Polk is a one-of-a-kind athlete and knew he was a perfect person to win this award.
“First off, he is a good kid and he is a hard worker and is never a problem and a great leader,” Hughes said. “He is the type of kid that you enjoy having on your team, because you know he is going to give his all and is not going to cause any problems. His character and work ethic (are) probably the biggest reasons he deserves this the most.”
Hughes said this is the first athlete he has coached to win this award. He said he has had teammates win it before and said it is a very prestigious award and that he is proud of Polk.
“It just goes to show that all of his hard work is starting to pay off for him,” Hughes said. “What we are looking forward to is going out and having fun basically. He’s done everything he needs to do, and he is set on college and now he needs to relax, go have fun and go play while being a leader.”
Polk is invited to the Warren Spahn Gala to accept his award and will get a chance to meet baseball greats Ferguson Jenkins, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Michele Smith.
Polk said he is very excited to get a chance to meet one of his idols in Kershaw, and he wanted to make sure to thank his parents for working hard to help him achieve the award.
“I would mainly thank my parents for helping push me to be who I am and working to be the best I can be. I'd also like to thank my coaches who pushed me and taught me ... everything I know,” Polk said. “Clayton Kershaw is a really good pitcher, and I look up to him because he is one of the best in the big leagues and it will be really neat to meet him and see what he has to say about it.”