Gore Drug 250

Changing lives… Whether on the basketball court, football field, the classroom or hanging out with friends, Jackson Duke continually strives to change things for the better.

“Whatever I’m doing I try to bring another level of energy and performance,” explained the sophomore at Gore High School. “Give it my best effort, fire up my team and our crowd and help my teammates feed off that energy.”

While not in the starting five, Duke often changes the direction of the game in a positive way when called upon by his coach, Jay Ray.

“He’s been our sparkplug. When Jackson steps on to the floor, you can see it his eyes and the way that he plays, he believes that number 13 is the baddest dude on the court,” said the Pirates head coach. “Even though he’s only 5’10, he defends the opponent’s best player and when the game is on the line, Jackson wants the ball in his hands to make the play or set up a game winner for his teammates.”

With a core belief that his actions speak louder than words, Duke was confident when choosing three words to describe himself.

“Fast, athletic and energetic,” Duke confirmed. “I think energetic is most important because you have to bring energy to everything you do, sports and everyday life.”

A multi-sport competitor for the Pirates, Duke’s aggressiveness resulted in the sophomore defensive back grabbing seven pass interceptions including a pair of pick-6 returns for touchdowns that ignited the flow of the game for the Pirates on the football field.

“Jackson was a game changer for us,” said football coach Brandon Tyler whose team finished with an 8-1 record while reaching the second round of the playoffs. “A really good young man on and off the field. He’s the kind of kid that if you want something done, Jackson will do his best to finish the job.”

And while his future career path is yet to be determined, Duke plans to pursue his future with the same kind of passion.

“If I could be anyone in the world, it would have to be a coach. From my own experiences, I know that coaches change lives and that’s why I do what I do every day.”

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