Duncan Athletics started organized workouts last week and Duncan Demons football had players eager to make the first week a success.
JT Cobble, the Duncan Demons head football coach who will enter his third season with the Demons, said despite everything going around the world, there has been a great turnout.
“We have been going at it for a week now, but in the short amount of time we have been going, I think this is one of the best — it has the chance to be one of the best summer prides we have had,” Cobble said. “If we were going as one group, we would have over 50 kids there. We are having to split them into two groups and then split those groups in two because of number reasons. It is the best we have had and there is a lot going on in the world today with racism and the COVID problem and you know once we get out there on the track it all kind of goes away. We are all after the same goal and it doesn’t matter if you are white, black, purple or red, we are all Duncan Demons. So we band together and the kids are working hard.”
Cobble said after the four month drop off, he could tell the athletes were a little out of shape but said the members of the team push each other and help each other get better.
Duncan last year went 6-4 and the year before went 9-2 in Cobble’s first two seasons. They will now rely on having to fill the past two senior classes that saw a turnaround of the program.
In the 6-4 season for the Demons, Cobble went a little younger to replace his first set of seniors. Now, summer pride sees the seniors working with sophomores and the juniors working with the freshmen.
“We played a lot of underclassmen last year and the good thing of doing that is it develops leaders maybe before they are actually ready to be leaders,” Cobble said. “Guys like Tate Wilkins, Chance Brooksher, Zack Schreckengost and Desmond Pettit — they are all guys that will have to carry a lot of weight on their shoulders and they have accepted that. Their attitude says that about them as they are working out and pushing each other with the other kids responding to it.”
Working two days a week outside, Cobble said they have started to get back into the swing of things. They’re going like there will be a season that starts in August.
“There was a lot of excitement last Monday on the first day that was quickly met by a lot of exhaustion and wondering what the heck is going on,” Cobble said. “The good thing about this team is the resiliency of showing back up for all four days last week and then again today. We have had hardly anyone miss and they are excited ready to get going and ready to get back to some normalcy.”
The current plan for the 2020 season has teams officially starting limited practice on Aug. 10 and then full practice beginning Aug. 14.
Cobble said the team and district have put together a good plan to be ready for the first week of practice and hopes once the season begins they will be ready to hit the ground running.
“To our administration’s credit in Coach Cook, Dr. Deighan and Mr. Hampton, they did a good job of getting together and getting with Amanda (Woods) to put some protocols in place to where we can have our summer pride while keeping the kids safe which is our main priority,” Cobble said. “Hopefully that will lead into when we get into August without having anyone getting sick and getting into a normal routine in August. The kids understand what is going on and how important it is to wash your hands and clean the station when you are done with it. They have embraced the new normal and hopefully that will lead into football in August.”