One of the biggest challenges facing high school athletes is finding a balance between school, athletics, offseason workouts and some type of social life. The challenge ramps up with every activity the student participates. Sibley East's Kevin Durham deals with the balancing act all year round.
“We had high hopes this year,” Dunham said. “At times I thought we could make a run at the section, but some games we didn't play our best all four quarters. That got us at the end of the season.”
He would have liked to have won a few more games, but overall Dunham was happy with his performance.
“I thought the season went really well,” said Dunham. “I worked hard in the offseason to get a lot stronger – I gained twenty pounds in the offseason. It helped me as a runner – being able to break tackles and finish plays.”
Although Durham has balance in his life, the Wolverines' offense was anything but balanced.
“We ran a lot of wishbone type stuff – cross-bucks, dives, and power plays,” Durham – the left halfback said. “Not a lot of stuff outside. I would say we ran the ball pretty close to ninety percent of the time.”
Durham carried much of the rushing load in 2016.
“My strengths as a running back are either straight line speed finishing through contact and falling forward or my patience – letting the line do their job before I hit the hole.”
Defensively, Dunham primarily played corner or safety, but would occasionally move into a linebacker role.
“We had some good guys in the front seven,” NFNs 238th ranked junior said. “We stopped the run; most of our struggles on defense came against the deep ball.”
“I think I have good football instincts,” the soon to be four-year starter continued. “I feel like I always know where the ball is going and what the offense is doing.”
When football season ends, Durham's season is just getting started. He was the sixth man on the twenty-win Sibley East basketball team. The self-proclaimed sixth man whose strengths are distributing the ball and playing defense has kept things going into the baseball season.
“I play shortstop. I am pretty balanced at the plate,” Durham told northstarfootballnews.com. “I can hit for average and power. I feel like I get a lot of extra-base hits and am a threat to steal bases too.”
Football preparation doesn't stop just because of basketball or baseball. Durham lifts all year round.
“I get to school at 6:30 in the morning three days a week to work out,” Durham – who will also be working on his footwork – said. “We focus on the core lifts. We start with high reps and slowly work our way closer to our maxes. We also mix in mobility and flexibility stuff with that.”
He is going to continue with the weight program, get together with teammates to work on the playbook and get to as many college camps as he can.
“I am likely going to camps at North Dakota State, Penn, and Princeton.”
Durham has been contacted by schools ranging from FBS schools to the MIAC. He doesn't know if he is being recruited as an offensive and defensive player.
“I have talked mostly to Bemidji State, Minnesota State-Mankato, and Pennsylvania. They have asked me to come to a camp and want to see more film.”
With schools like Penn and Princeton interested, Dunham's balancing act includes plenty of time devoted to school.
“That started in elementary school,” Durham said. “I was always able to balance that. My parents were very good at helping me get my academics done. I have been able to discipline myself.”
Whether it is football, basketball, baseball or the books, Durham seems to have high school figured out. Going into his senior season his ability to balance his life will open up plenty of opportunities beyond high school.