By Gabriel Armistead Chapman
This week, I sat down with senior linebacker Colt Duncan of the Lawrence Football team. Duncan received the Midwest Conference’s (MWC) Performer of the Week Award for his dominant performance in the Vikings victory over Maranatha Baptist with eight tackles, two and a half sacks, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal.
Gabe Chapman: Congratulations on the MWC Performer of the Week Award. That was a pretty impressive stat line you put up in that game. Between the tackles, sacks and special teams work which are you most proud of?
Colt Duncan: Probably the sacks. We’ve been really working with a new defensive line coach this year – Coach Cunningham from Eastern Kentucky College – who has had an all-conference player every single year he has coached. I am most proud of the sacks because we have three guys who have never really played defensive line this year and the sack is basically showing that we finished the play. We have not had many sacks in years past, and that was something that we really wanted to improve on. The sack is not even for myself; it is just showing that our defensive line is improving, so I am proud about that.
GC: How does it feel to be the first defensive position player at Lawrence to win the award since 2013?
CD: Yeah, the last one was Andy Paider who coached here last year, so it was cool it get [the award] this year. I was really happy, excited and surprised because Lawrence does not win too many awards like that –- especially for football. I was proud, but I could not have done it without the other guys on my team.
GC: How do you plan on building on this early success?
CD: Just keep doing what the coach says and what we have been working on since [training] camp. It makes me want to get another one. It’s not the last thing that going to happen.
GC: What do you think of the new Roberts Field at the Banta Bowl?
CD: The new field is great. We already had the Seattle Seahawks come out which was cool. It is good for everybody; we are getting some bigger names out here and putting Lawrence in the spotlight. Hopefully that will be a big draw for recruiting because Lawrence doesn’t have the best sports reputation. But we are trying to change that, and I think the Banta Bowl project was a big step forward—not just for us to play on it, but for players in the future to look forward to.
GC: As a senior linebacker, what personal goals do you have for the rest of the season, and what advice would you give to younger teammates in your position?
CD: I really never try to set personal goals for football. I just try to go out there and have fun. I still get to play sports in college, and I did not even think I would get to do that in high school. So really it is just having fun, making sure all my teammates are safe and giving my best effort. I am not a very outspoken guy on the field, but I try to lead by example doing the best I can. Because I have had a different coach and defense every year, the biggest thing to tell a freshman football player who looks at Division I coaching with great program history is that the most important thing is making that bond with your teammates first. We are a smaller school and only have 40 guys playing instead of 90. So the biggest thing is to get your playbook and get with your teammates and make that bond first because we might have coaches every year coming in and out – that’s just the nature of Division III football. I believe the coaches we have now are going to get us back on the right track.