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Sports Spotlight: Tarboro’s Layton Dupree a six sport athlete, three phase player for Vikings football team

Dupree is kicker, defensive lineman and tight end for Tarboro
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 9:42 PM EST
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TARBORO, N.C. (WITN) - Tarboro football has a senior this year who exemplifies what it means to be a student-athlete.

We feature Layton Dupree in this week’s Pepsi Sports Spotlight.

“Been a struggle,” says Tarboro senior Layton Dupree, “Trying to balance 6 sports and school work because the classes I’m taking are not easy by any means.”

Time management is a skill Tarboro senior Layton Dupree has almost mastered.

“Any work I have the next day do that first. Go to the practice I have of course and then come back do homework and go to sleep,” says Dupree, “Sleep has been a struggle for me. Gotta find a better sleep schedule wake up go to swim practice at 6 am and then get home after 6 and do homework.”

From the pool, to the diamond, to the court, and eventually the football field.

“I played soccer most of my life and then my brother he kicked his senior year. We didn’t have a kicker so I followed his lead,” says Layton, “Went into that role and kicked my freshman and sophomore year. Still playing soccer and then last year we didn’t have a soccer team.”

“He’s like coach can I play football for you? I was like heck yeah that’d be great,” says Tarboro head football coach Jeff Craddock, “He was like what position? I was like I don’t have a clue?”

Layton certainly puts the athlete in student-athlete. Becoming an every down player for one of the top programs in the state.

“Kicking on every special team, starts on defense, starts, yeah he gets his break at the end,” says Craddock, “He’s my Ironman.”

Becoming the Vikings kicker...

“A lot more technique in that than punting the soccer ball,” says Layton, “Trying to get the spiral and everything else. Trying to kick it straight every time.”

...then defensive lineman....

“He asked me do you want to be a D-end or corner? I said I don’t think I’m fast enough to be a corner so I think I’ll be a D-end,” says Dupree.

...and also a tight end.

“I had never played football in my life until last year so I had to figure out all the blocking schemes,” says Dupree, “Figure out where I’m supposed to go, figure out how to block people. Never been taught that. Those are probably two of the hardest parts.”

Learning new things hasn’t been a struggle for Dupree, he is also at the top student in his senior class.

“It’s kind of like having another coach out there on the field looking at things we studied in film that week,” says Craddock, “He’s unbelievable and he transfers the book smarts part to it to football.”

While he’s focused on a state title on every down this fall, there is one of his six sports which has always been his favorite.

“Baseball has been my life,” says Dupree, “Hopefully after college I can go somewhere and play baseball.”

Tarboro hosts Perquimans on Friday night in the 3rd round of the 1A state football tournament.

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