Mustang Profile: David DuVall is more than sports

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Max Lankford

His 30 on the ACT and 5.0 GPA prove athlete David DuVall is more than sports. “The stereotype ‘dumb jock’ has always kinda been at the back of my mind, but I try my best to not let it define who I am,” the senior said.

Sarah Claire Miller, Staff Writer

Nobody messes with David DuVall on the offensive line. But the 6-foot-2-inch center for the Mustangs and record-setting powerlifter, who benches 390, is more than sports. The senior made a 30 on the ACT, was in the PSAT class, and tutors students after school in math. The 18-year-old is also well liked by his peers and holds the admiration of his teachers, who voted him as Winterfest King in January.

DuVall said he is more than a stereotype. 

“The stereotype ‘dumb jock’ has always kinda been at the back of my mind, but I try my best to not let it define who I am,” he said. “Someone once told me words do not have power in themselves, you choose to give them power.”

He insists he’s more than football and powerlifting, even though sports is a major part of his life.

“That said, it’s not the most important thing,” DuVall said. “Like all my coaches have said, academics come first, because at the end of the day sports will come and go and leave you with what you’ve got. That’s why I put as much effort into my schoolwork as I do playing.” 

The discipline required of sports might indirectly have helped his grades.

“Most people say ‘Oh, yeah you’re born smart,’ but that can’t be any further from the truth,” said DuVall, who admitted to struggling academically back in middle school. “I saw I wasn’t doing as well as everyone else and I was like, ‘Dang.’ I guess my competitive nature kicked in and I started studying and working out problems. That got me to where I’m at now.”

Today his favorite subject is math, which DuVall said he realizes most people don’t really enjoy.

“I look at it as kind of a puzzle needing to be solved or a problem needing to be answered,” he said. “I also get satisfaction out of doing any problem, almost gratifying. I try to find people in class who’ll race with me to see who can finish the fastest. Gosh. Putting that into words makes me sound like a nerd. You know, I think I’m fine with that because I’m proud of the work I’ve put in.”

After he graduates, DuVall plans to attend Northwest “to hold on to my dreams of playing football.” In the meantime, he said he’s still trying to figure out a career path and that school is the easy part. 

“If you give up now or slack off, you’re setting yourself up to fail later in life,” he said. “What will you do when things get hard? You have to dig your feet down and work.”