Sequoyah lineman signs with Missouri Southern
Athan Duncan, guard for the Sequoyah High School football team, talks with family and classmates during his Feb. 11 signing ceremony at SHS in Tahlequah. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – Another Sequoyah High School athlete has committed to continue his athletic career with the signing of a national letter of intent on Feb. 11.
Athan Duncan, a 6-5, 305-pound guard for the SHS football team, officially affixed his signature during a short midday signing ceremony inside “The Place Where They Play” gym on the SHS campus, agreeing to attend Missouri Southern State University in Joplin.
“I like the campus especially,” Duncan said. “It’s not too big or small, and I felt like I was at home there. I have friends up there, and I like Joplin.”
Duncan’s play as a senior on the offensive line helped SHS to a 6-4 season, along with a 4-3 district record and playoff appearance in 2019. He had the interest of several schools, including Northeastern State University in Tahlequah.
“I’ll still have to get used to (living away from home),” he said. “But it feels right. It was tough for me to choose, because NSU is right here at home, but I really think I made the right choice.”
Now that he has chosen MSSU, Duncan is ready to focus on academics and training.
“Obviously, you gotta graduate on time,” he said. “I want to finish school and hopefully finish in the top 50 of the class. I’m doing training – and working out with the powerlifting team – and working out at home. I also asked for a workout schedule from (MSSU), and they sent me one, so hopefully I can get better and be ready.”
Shane Richardson, SHS head football coach, was unable to lead the 2019 Indians while he dealt with health issues, but offered some counsel as Duncan prepared to write a new chapter.
“I wasn’t at school and didn’t get to experience his senior year,” Richardson said. “We talked a little bit during this process of him deciding what he wanted to do – going to college and entering another stage of his life. This is a proud moment for us as football coaches and a team to see one of our own succeed the way he has.”
Richardson said Duncan had faced and overcome adversity during his time at SHS.
“I know there were some hard days,” Richardson said. “I can sympathize with that, and I am proud of what he has done. He has always had a positive outlook and attitude about everything he’s had to go through. That’s got him to this point, and I know he isn’t finished.”