Trevor Duncan is a senior at Haughton High School, but this weekend he'll be competing for the University of Louisiana-Monroe in the USA Wakeboard South Central Regionals on the Red River.
Duncan, 17, is able to compete for ULM because he’s taking a course in the school’s Dual Enrollment Program, which allows selected high school students to earn college credit while enrolled in a class taught by their high school faculty or online taught by ULM faculty, according to ULM’s website.
Duncan is the only high schooler competing on the ULM team, which recently won an event in Lafayette.
The South Central Regionals event is part of the Louisiana Collegiate Wake Tour.
Other college teams expected to compete include Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, LSU, Texas Tech, Texas, Mississippi State, Okla-homa State and Ole Miss.
Duncan has ties to Monroe from when he first started entering wakeboard competitions.
He was able to join the ULM squad after making a connection through family members with team member Cody Townsend.
Duncan said he’s been going out on the water pretty much his entire life, but he didn’t start getting serious about competing until about three years ago.
“I was just out there having fun and trying to learn tricks because I thought they were cool, trying to learn a flip and all,” said Duncan, the son of Tad and Mona Duncan. “My dad is friends with some people in Monroe who did wakeboarding and they just kind of got us into it, tournaments and stuff.”
Since then, he’s steadily improved and has won events in Arkansas and Texas.
When he’s not competing for ULM, Duncan competes with the Louisiana Red Bull team in INT (International Amateur Waterski Wakeboard and Kneeboard) events.
In wakeboarding, competitors are towed behind a motorboat going anywhere from 30-50 mph and perform tricks, such as flips, as they go back and forth across the boat’s wake.
Points are awarded based on three categories of scoring — style, amplitude and intensity, and technique. The more difficult a trick, the higher the scoring potential.
Duncan said his most difficult trick is called a Tootsie Roll, a front flip over the wake with a backside 180 spin.
In events like this weekend’s South Central Regionals, each individual competitor’s score is added to determine the team’s score.
Depending on the event, a rider can perform as many as 10 tricks on a single run.
“For most of the tournaments you have five or six tricks going down (the run), and if you get six tricks going down you can get four tricks going back,” he said. “If you fall you can make up for it.”
Duncan said one thing that drew him to the sport is the individual aspect of it.
He and his father are out on the water almost every day.
“It’s fun going out there and practicing and pushing myself,” he said. “You don’t have to rely on a teammate.”
He has also enjoyed meeting and getting to know his competitors at the various events.
“People you compete against, you’re friends and at the same time you’re competitors against each other,” he said.
Duncan said he likes being able to measure himself and his progress against the other competitors.
Wakeboarding isn’t Duncan’s only sport. He also plays soccer for Haughton and is a second-degree black belt in karate, which he did for six years.
Next summer, Duncan plans compete professionally. In most of his past events, he’s competed against older wakeboarders. But he said the pro tour has an 18-and-under division that he will be eligible for.