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, pictured here in the school weightroom, 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.

Here’s what DuVall said about how he defines himself:

Q: What is your opinion about the “dumb jock” stereotype, which clearly doesn’t apply to you?

A: “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. Someone once told me words do not have power in themselves, you choose to give them power.”

Q: How are you more than football and powerlifting?

A: “I love sports and it is a major part of my life. That said, it’s not the most important thing. 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.” 

Q: What’s your ACT score and GPA?

A: I don’t mean for this to come off arrogant in any way, but I have a 30 ACT with a 5.0. But these are just a score or a label that most people say ‘Oh, yeah you’re born smart,’ but that can’t be any further from the truth. I’ve struggled terribly with school, especially English 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 an dI started studying and working out problems. That got me to where I’m at now.”

Q: What’s next for you after you graduate from Center Hill?

A: “After I finish here, I’ll go on to Northwest to hold on to my dreams of playing football. Also so I can stay close to home.”

Q: What are your career goals?

A: “I’m still trying to figure that out, which is kind of a bad thing seeing how I’m about to go study for my career in college.”

Q: What advice do you have for students?

A: “I know a lot of people hate school because it’s boring or doesn’t apply to you, which I totally understand. That’s why you need to find something that gets you motivated to get going or something interesting about that subject that you’ll push through the work for. I know it may seem pointless to try in school, but if you give up now or slack off, you’re setting yourself up to fail later in life, because right now this boring school work is the easy part of your life. What will you do when things get hard? When things don’t go your way, what will you do? You have to dig your feet down and work.”

Q: What’s the most recent book you read?

A: “My English teachers are probably going to hate me for saying this, but I honestly can’t remember the last book I read for pleasure. It’s been so long since I’ve read any book. Instead of reading, I like to work out, watch Netflix with the subtitles on – wink wink – or play board games or do puzzles with my spare time.”

Q: What’s your favorite subject and why?

A: “My favorite subject is math, and most people don’t really enjoy it. I look at it as kind of a puzzle needing to be solved or a problem needing to be answered. 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.”