LISLE – A trio of Duvics hold the top place-kicking measurements in the Benet Academy athletics record books.
Like a page torn out football folklore, brothers Tim and John Duvic Sr. played Benet fooball in the 1980s. Tim – the younger of Duvic siblings – kicked a 51-yard field goal during a game in 1989, but could not best his older brother, John Sr. – who crushed a 53-yarder in the mid 80’s.
John Duvic Sr. went on to kick for Northwestern and was even the Chicago Bears replacement kicker in 1987. For three decades, his 53-yard boot remained entrenched in the Benet record books.
But, in a game against Marian Catholic on Sept. 27, another Duvic drained a 54-yarder and set a new school mark.
Amid a 40-7 Redwing win, John Duvic – the son of John Sr. – beat his father’s record by one yard. The younger Duvic added 53-, 40- and 31-yard field goals for good measure during the win.
With his dad watching from the stands, the 17-year-old Glen Ellyn resident’s record boot punctuated a two week span in which he went nine-for-nine and single-handedly outscored both opponents.
After the kicking onslaught, the Benet coaching staff just shook their heads, marveling at Duvic’s performance.
“He was on fire, it was just incredible to watch,” Benet head coach Pat New said. “I think that record-breaking kick could have been good from 60 yards out.”
While Duvic acknowledges the feat, he tries to remain humble, smiling and explaining that “no matter how long the field goals are, each is only worth three points.”
“It was really cool to have my dad in the stands,” Duvic said. “He has been my biggest supporter, my mentor. After the kick, he was so proud of me, and I know that I could have never done that without his help.”
From a young age, John Sr. educated his son about kicking form, proper mechanics, teaching him everything from stretches to increase flexibility to the proper shoes to wear – customized soccer cleats.
But he also taught him the mental aspects, the integral part of the game that occurs between the ear holes.
“He taught me never to give up, stick with it and perfect your craft,” Duvic said. “You are going to have bad kicking days and good ones – you must treat them all the same and stick with it. Without my dad I would be nowhere.”
His father encouraged him to write his own story and try other sports, as well. John played soccer when he was younger and baseball and basketball until his freshman year at Glenbard West High School.
He then chose to follow familial footsteps and transfer to Benet.
“My dad went here, as well as my uncles and sisters,” Duvic said. “It felt like I belonged here. I like the small, close-knit atmosphere a lot better.”
The Redwings defeated St. Viator on Friday to push their undefeated season to 6-0, and thanks to his stellar season Duvic is drawing interest from college programs like Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana.
“I want to kick at a Big Ten school,” Duvic said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”