After losing former DuVal High School Head Coach Dameon Powell to a new coaching position at Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale, Md., Carlos Lockwood took the reins of the young Lanham, Md.-based football program knowing that there would be trials and tribulations.

Rising senior running back David Dupree stands with DuVal Head Football Coach Carlos Lockwood. (Photo by Daniel Kucin)

“Coming in you change things up, and that was the big challenge,” Lockwood said about becoming DuVal’s head coach. “The way you want to do things and the way you want to practice. We just wanted to get back to playing smart football, not trying to do too much.”

The team is preparing for the upcoming season with a special tool. DuVal rising senior running back David Dupree was the main contributor to the team’s success a year ago and the backbone of its offensive attack.

“It’s going to take all of us, but it’s him [Dupree],” said Lockwood about the center of his offense for the upcoming season. “The offense is going to go through him, and he has to understand that. We’ve put in a lot of work, and we’re ready for any team that comes to us.”

The five-foot-ten, 200-pound workhorse gashed opposing defenses for more than 1,500 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground, and he showed his versatility by catching the ball out of the backfield with 17 receptions for 183 yards and two touchdowns. “I’m happy to be here, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Dupree said. “I’ve been working very hard this summer, and my goal is to rush for 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.”

His most impressive outburst was against Parkdale last year when he accounted for 331 total yards and found the end zone four times. Dupree will return for his final season in Orange and Black with the hopes of a state championship title in mind.

“I saw how easy it was for our linemen to open up the lanes for me, so I knew it was going to be a good game,” Dupree said about his performance against Parkdale. “It was raining too, so I already knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of passing going on, so I knew I was going to do something special.”

DuVal has reached the playoffs five straight times since 2012 which highlights its tradition of maintaining a winning culture. Even though the Tigers haven’t won a state championship title since 1988, Lockwood’s vision of championship glory appears to shine through as his players have bought into the goal. Though the Tigers fell short in 2016 4A state championship 54-7, the teams is only looking forward.

“You gotta have your eye on the prize,” Lockwood said about getting to the 4A State

Championship. “We are a playoff team, and we focus on it, but we are going to take every game one game at a time.”