Editor’s Note: This is part one in a series about the 2019-2020 Duncan High School Athletics school year and will show how the Duncan Demons performed during the school year.
Duncan Public Schools finished the school year with several positives for the 2019-2020 school year despite the school year not finishing and spring sports not being able to complete their seasons.
Duncan Athletic Coordinator Bobby Cook said the decision to cancel spring sports is one he supported but he was disappointed on behalf of the athletes including the seniors who were affected.
“First and foremost, safety is first and we all understand that from the federal government to the state and local government on what has been decided. I completely support that decision that has been made by those people and the safety of the kids are first,” Cook said. “With that being said, I think it is fair for me to say that I am very disappointed in the aspect especially our seniors who didn’t get to complete their spring sports schedules. It is very disheartening for the kids first and foremost, not just the athletic department or our coaches but I mean we are here for the kids.”
Cook said he hopes the seniors who were looking to finish their final season won’t be affected by scholarship issues and he is waiting to see what unfolds for the Class of 2020 just like the rest of the nation.
Before the cancellation, Cook said the fall sports set the tone for the winter sports and spring sports and gave credit to those coaches for improving on each season.
“I felt like your fall sports always sets the tempo as a whole and the football team two years in a row we have made the playoffs. I felt like that carried over,” Cook said. “The momentum of those sports were going to continue to carry over into the spring.”
Duncan Athletics only had one new coach for the school year, Coach Darren Cobble took over the tennis programs for Coach Phil Barnes who was still actively helping the Demons tennis programs.
Cook said it was a good transition for a program that has had success and feels like it was going smoothly for the first year head coach.
“I felt like with tennis we were really going to get ready to have a big year which we are no stranger to but with that being said Coach Barnes is still there in a mentor capacity to help the transition for Coach Cobble and the kids,” Cook said. “I don’t think you can ask for a better set up or dynamic in that transition and when you have a coach like Coach Barnes who is exiting the way that he is.”
Cook said that he thinks the future is bright for Duncan Athletics and is looking at the numbers growing at the middle school level and the involvement with youth sports as a positive for the Duncan Demons.
“I think the future is bright. Our participation in the junior high increased this year compared to last and I think that is a good integrator and sign,” Cook said. “Our feeder program like our grass roots program and I’m referring to our little league and the opportunities for them to get immersed into multiple sports is I think we are starting to break into that threshold a little bit more that we have had in the past.”