Declo High School standout and Boise State football commit Keegan Duncan was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Idaho Football Player of the Year on Thursday.
Duncan is the first Declo player to ever be chosen for the award, which is in its 34th year of honoring high school athletes. Highland’s Tommy Togiai, currently playing at Ohio State, was last year’s winner.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound running back/defensive back followed up a stellar junior season, after which he was named the Times-News 11-man football player of the year, with an equally impressive senior campaign, leading Declo to its second straight unbeaten, 2A state championship-winning season.
Duncan committed to Boise State in June, and said doing so played a role in his strong season in 2018.
“I wanted to commit early so I could focus on this high school season and my senior year here,” Duncan said after winning the state title on Nov. 17. “I wanted to get a championship with these guys.”
On 130 carries in 2018, Duncan ran for 2,041 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also compiled 595 yards and 13 scores on 19 receptions. When senior quarterback McKay Breshears broke his hand mid-season, the Hornets employed wrinkles in their offense that lasted throughout the campaign and led to Duncan actually throwing for four touchdown scores, one of which came in a state semifinal.
He also returned three punts, two kickoffs and a pair of interceptions for scores throughout the campaign, including one 76-yard kick return for a touchdown in the state championship game.
“He unassumingly does everything,” Declo head coach Kelly Kidd said after his team’s win over West Side in the 2A state semifinal. “He’s as good an athlete as this state ever saw.”
Duncan put on a show in that state semifinal win, taking runs of 89 and 82 yards in for scores in the first half alone. He finished with 234 yards on 12 carries, three receptions for 119 yards, and that 36-yard touchdown pass to senior Ben Puentes to account for seven scores in that game.
Then, in his final high school game, Duncan ran 20 times for 206 yards, caught two passes for 65 yards and added that kick return to contribute three touchdowns on the day to lead the Hornets to a 2A state championship win over North Fremont.
Teams knew about Duncan because of his exploits in past seasons, but, even when they loaded eight or nine players in the box to try and shut him down, he found other ways to burn them all year.
He’s currently playing for Declo’s basketball team, which was ranked No. 4 in the 2A classification in the Idaho state media poll. He holds a 3.97 GPA, per Gatorade’s press release.
Duncan will move on to Boise State next fall, but said his final season with Declo football was bittersweet, despite all the success he had.
“I’m excited for the next level, but at the same time, I’ll miss my boys here,” Duncan said after that state championship triumph. “Declo football is something special. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. To be a part of this program, I’m very blessed.”