MODEL STUDENT-ATHLETE: Duke Excels On, Off Field with Play and Grades
NATURAL ATHLETIC ABILITY RUNS THROUGH THE VEINS OF MASON DUKE.
His older brother Myles went on to play football at SMU, while his father Darrick played football and baseball at the University of Texas. Not only has their talent on the field been carried on by the Goose Creek Memorial senior, but also their excellence in the classroom.
In February, Duke was selected by the Touchdown Club of Houston as a Top 25 scholar-athlete in the city of Houston. Myles received the same recognition in 2015 and Darrick was honored by the Houston Athletic Committee for it in 1989.
“It is an accomplishment I am very proud of,” Duke said. “My parents instilled great worth ethic in me, and the importance of education. This legacy is an example of just that.”
Being an accomplished athlete on the field and a recognized student in the classroom doesn’t come easy, especially when you are the team’s starting quarterback in the fall and play on the baseball diamond in the spring.
It has turned into some long days but all worth it in the end, Duke said.
“I’ve tried to be my best at both,” he said. “Up at 5:30 a.m. for film and workouts, then coming home after practice to study is extremely tough. My goal was to give myself options for my future and college. So, I put in the work on both ends.”
This past fall, Duke earned second-team, all-district honors for his play on the football field and hopes to reciprocate that on the diamond.
As he plays his senior campaign, Duke currently has an offer to play football at Texas Lutheran and some college baseball coaches have been in contact to watch his senior year.
At the end of the day, Duke put a plan in motion years ago to make sure most of his schooling would be taken care of at the next level – either through athletics, academics or both.
“Education is the most important. You never know how far your athletic abilities will take you,” Duke said. “So having great grades and ranking high in my class academically has always been first. If I didn’t get an athletic scholarship, I would set myself up for an academic one. And that plan is paying off. I have been accepted to the colleges I’ve applied to and have received a few full academic scholarships.”
The future is bright for Duke either route he takes.