School Spotlight: Duncanville High School (Duncanville, TX)

Photo by Stan Martin

Duncanville High School is a 6A Division I public school located in Duncanville, Texas. It is one of three high schools in the Duncanville Independent School District area. This school serves grades 9th-12th and their goal for their students is all about excellence, with their motto being “excellence is the standard.” This school helps their 4,500 plus students exceed in every category they can provide. Some of these activities include band, cheerleading, the fine arts, academics, newspaper, and, of course, their sports teams. The Duncanville Panthers excel in many sports, having a total of 26 state titles dating back to the year 1976. The school emphasizes sports as important to its students because of the life skills it teaches in categories like sportsmanship, understanding, teamwork, and the fact that hard work leads to success on and off the field.

This is the same for the Panthers football team. Since 2017, they have been first in their district, only losing seven games in that span, with no more than two losses in any of those seasons. Their success has continued recently with the Panthers winning a championship in 2022. With the help of Coach Reginald Samples, this team had an undefeated season leading to another title as district champions and, for the second time in two seasons, making it into the state championship. This time, however, they became victorious, beating North Shore High School (28-21), and becoming champions for the second time in school history (1998).

This unbelievable season was coached by none other than Coach Reginald Samples. Coach Samples has been coaching in Texas since 1990. In over the 30 years Coach Samples has been coaching, he has only had 3 losing seasons, with the last one being his first year with the Panthers in 2015. Since then, he has been division champion six times, gone to the championship four times, and has won the championship once. With this extraordinary last season, Samples was given the award for Texas Coach of the Year (2022). In the long scheme of things, Samples has won over 300 games in his status as head coach, which is the most ever by any African-American head football coach in the state of Texas. Coach Samples will hopefully continue his success in coaching and without a doubt have a good possibility of making it to his third state championship game in a row with the help of his players and coaching staff.

RB Caden Durham – 5’ 10’’ 190 lbs. Caden is a four-star running back who recently committed to play at Louisiana State University next season.  Last season, he rushed for 1960 yards on 210 carries and 36 TDs. Being ranked 12th at running back in the country, he has a bright future with the Tigers.

QB Keelon Russell – 6’3’’ 180 lbs. About to start his season as the Junior starting quarterback, Keelon last year led Duncanville to a 15-0 record and won the 6A D-1 state championship, throwing for 2,377 yards, 22 TDs, and nine INTs and rushing for 203 yards on 48 attempts and three rushing TDs. He has offers from multiple schools like Purdue, Ole Miss, TCU, and more but has not committed anywhere.

WR Dakorien Moore – 6′ 0” 185 lbs. Dakorien is a five-star recruit in the class of 2025. Just like Caden Durham, Dakorien is also committed to LSU. Moore is ranked in the top three at wide receiver in his class. After an impressive first week of the season, recording seven catches 281 yards, and three touchdowns, he looks to continue his dominant play on the field now and in his college career.

EDGE Colin Simmons – 6’3’’ 225 lbs. Last but not least we have Colin Simmons, a five-star edge rusher who is top five in the country in his position. He has committed to play football next year for the Texas Longhorns. Last season he recorded 79 tackles, 33 TFLs, and 22.6 sacks, which is a school record, helping the Panther tremendously on their championship run. He looks ready to repeat a dominant year with the Panthers.