- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By: GREG HIGGINS
If you watch Ian Dukleth run the ball for the Panthers, you better pay attention or you might miss something spectacular. “He’s a phenomenal athlete,” Coach Felty said of his running back. “He can do about anything on a football field.” This was evident last Friday night in the season opener for North Lamar. With less than a minute to go in the first quarter, the Senior running back took the handoff from quarterback Austin Anthony and busted through the line of scrimmage. With one man to beat, instead of trying to outrun him, Dukleth hurdled the defender and scampered 52 yards into the end zone.
Perhaps what makes this even more remarkable is that Ian didn’t play football his first two years in High School. “I played in 8th grade but didn’t really like it,” Ian said. After some friends encouraged him to give it another shot last year, he decided he would. Not only did he like it, but he “wound up doing pretty good”.
Ian also plays in the secondary for the Panthers. He’s played cornerback and safety. As a matter of fact Dukleth ran Buck Wilson, the speedy wide receiver for Commerce, down from behind to tackle him before Wilson was able to score. When asked about the play, Ian said, “That was crazy, because I didn’t think I was going to catch him to be honest.” Kids on the bus were telling Ian how fast Wilson was and Ian thought there was no way he was going to catch him, but he kept pushing and kept trying until he finally did catch up to make the tackle. “He’s gifted,” Felty responded when asked about the play. Woody Elliot, linebackers coach, said Ian “has a lot of talent and a lot of energy.”
When he’s not hurdling defenders and chasing down receivers, you can usually find Ian hanging out with his friends playing video games. He’s working on his grades in hope that someday he can get into college somewhere. He has aspirations of playing sports in college as well. Ian also plays basketball for the Panthers.