Father's footsteps lead Duncan to county title New generation: The top seed in the 3A-4A East region, Chad Duncan's wrestling and football career at Chesapeake parallels his father's.

February 23, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

Following in his father's footsteps is something Chesapeake's Chad Duncan wants to do, not something he feels obligated to do.

His father's athletic achievements have served as an inspiration.

Duncan, a Cougar junior in his second full season as a varsity wrestler, won the Anne Arundel County 171-pound championship Saturday at Annapolis High on a pin at 2:27.

In 1969, Chad's father, Carl, a three-sport standout at Glen Burnie High, won the first of his two county and region championships as a junior.

Carl, who still lifts weights and is a muscular 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, went on to finish as a finalist in the inaugural state wrestling tournament at Walt Whitman High in Montgomery County.

Chad, 25-2 with 17 pins and two technical falls, is the top seed in the 3A-4A East region at Meade this weekend and hopes to duplicate his father's effort.

"I'm trying to accomplish everything my dad did and I'm following in his footsteps because it's something I really wanted to do," said Duncan, who is 47-11 with 31 pins in his brief career.

His father was All-County not only in wrestling, but also in football and baseball. Carl received a football/baseball scholarship to Morgan State College back when the Bears were a national power under the legendary Earl Banks, but instead signed a minor-league contract with the Orioles.

Duncan spent a couple years in the Orioles' farm system as an outfielder before being released.

His son, also 5-11, plays football and baseball, and he, too, is a running back/linebacker and an outfielder in the spring. Father encouraged son to play the same sports, but never demanded it.

"Carl encouraged all three of our boys [Chad, David, 25, and Scott, 12] to play sports, but never forced them," said Sandy Duncan. "Chad is a lot like his dad athletically, but he's shy, not as outgoing as his dad is."

But Chad's outgoing side cost him a year ago. During last season's 160-pound county consolation semifinals, Chad turned knockout boxer when his opponent provoked him. Duncan was disqualified and embarrassed.

"Chad has turned a definite negative into a positive," said Cougars coach Tom Schlicter. "Mentally speaking, I've seen a tremendous growth in him.

"We sat down and talked several times about last year and he was determined to stay under control. There have been a couple times this season when he could have lost control, but didn't and stayed focused."

Technique-wise, it's also a different Duncan. He has learned to rely on skills and moves rather than brute strength.

"The Chad Duncan of last year would not have a chance against the Chad Duncan of this year," said Schlicter.

"He wrestled at 160 a year ago and moved up to 171 this year determined to win the county title. He has worked hard to become a better wrestler and has directed his aggressiveness to the fundamentals and technique."

Duncan credits Schlicter and assistant coach Bruce Dulski for his improved technique.

He would love to claim the region title his junior year like his father and maybe even go a step farther. But as much as he enjoys wrestling, he admits to getting his biggest thrills on the football field.

"I hope to play football as an outside linebacker in college," said Duncan, who prefers sacking a ball carrier to a grappler. "Making big hit in football is more of a thrill, but that's not to say I don't get my thrills wrestling."

Chesapeake football coach Tom Kraning and the Cougars baseball coach Jim Simms have both been impressed with Duncan's strength and speed. Duncan bench-presses 250 to 285 pounds and is a 4.5 runner in the 40-yard dash.

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