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Coach Duane Twait To Serve As E-Hawks’ Honorary Captain

By Staff | Aug 25, 2011

Ever since the first whistle was sounded to start pre-season workouts back on August 8, the Emmetsburg E-Hawks have been working for one thing.

Friday night – or to be a little more specific, the first game of the 2011 football season.

It’s been a long, hard grind for the E-Hawks and Coaches Mike Dunlap and Joe Carter, but now the time has come to walk the walk. Estherville Lincoln Central will come to Duane Twait Field this Friday night to open Emmetsburg’s gridiron season.

It’s a little different situation this year for the E-Hawks’ season opener, as their opponents, the Midgets of Estherville Lincoln Central, have a game already under their belts, albeit a 21-2 loss to Spencer, who just happens to be next week’s opponent for the E-Hawks.

“We are going to have to be a very disciplined football team against Estherville Lincoln Central,”?noted Emmetsburg Head Coach Mike Dunlap. “We have to be very disciplined on the offensive line and on the defensive lines because of the multiple line options and the varied defenses that they will use against us.”

Last year’s Midget team was a senior-dominated squad, and this season, even though Estherville Lincoln Central is bringing several new faces into the mix, they are a team that is not to be taken lightly.

“Offensively, Estherville Lincoln Central will operate out of the twins formation, and with doubles and multiple packages,” Dunlap noted.

When Estherville Lincoln Central puts the defense on the field, the E-Hawks can expect a 5-2 defense that plays very physical football. the Midgets can also shift into a 4/4 alignment with various blitz packages being switched up to try an confuse the Emmetsburg offense.

“That’s why we will have to be a much more disciplined football team,”?Dunlap reiterated.

But there’s another reason why Friday night’s season opener is big for the E-Hawks.

“We’re very excited that Coach Duane Twait is going to be our Honorary Captain for the game,”?Dunlap said. “To be the Honorary Captain of the E-Hawks on Friday night is most certainly deserved for him.”

Twait will be introduced prior to the start of Friday’s game and will call the coin flip on behalf of the E-Hawks as the Honorary Captain.

Duane Twait was born in December of 1941. He attended Emmetsburg High School and played E-Hawk football in 1956, 1957, and 1958. After graduating from Emmetsburg in 1959, he attended Emmetsburg Junior College and then received his teaching degree from Wayne State College in Nebraska and his master’s degree in Administration from Northwest Missouri State.

Duane began his career as an educator and coach at Pender, NE and Hartley, IA, but it was a gold-letter day for E-Hawk football in 1974, when the Emmetsburg School District superintendent and school board took a chance on a local boy and hired Duane as the Head football coach at Emmetsburg High School. Twait also coached track, taught physical education and business and was the Athletic Director.

For 27 glorious years, Duane led the Emmetsburg football program as it set many records and also set a standard for football programs that is widely emulated today around the state. Duane Twait’s E-Hawks amassed a record of 280 wins and 40 losses, while winning 12 out of 13 Lakes Conference titles from 1974 1986. Twait’s teams also won eight out of 10 Class 2A District Championships from 1992 2002. Duane coached 14 teams into state championship games and those E-Hawk teams brought seven “Gold Cadillac” State Championship trophies home to Emmetsburg.

This home-town boy has been honored with many coaching awards during his career, starting in 1975 when he was named Northwest Iowa Sports Banquet Coach of the Year, followed by the Des Moines Register Prep Coach of the Year in 1977 and Siouxland Coach of the Year in 1978, Iowa Shrine Bowl Assistant Coach in 1978 and Shrine Bowl Head Coach in 1981. In 1990, he became the Toyota Coach of the year.

In 2001, Duane was named the National Federation of State High School Associations; State of Iowa Coach of the Year. He was the Iowa football Coaches Association District/Regional Coach of the Year in 1974, 1976, 1978, 1981, 1994, 1996, 1997, and 2002. In 1992 and 1998, he became the National High School Coaches Association Midwest District Coach of the year, and in 1999, he was recognized as the National High School Coaches Association Coach of the Year.

The honors continued with the Iowa High School Football Coaches Association 2A Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2002 and also the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Iowa Chapter Coach of the Year in 2002.

But one incredible honor was bestowed on September 13, 1996, when Coach Duane Twait received possibly the highest honor of all, as on that evening, the Emmetsburg High School football field was officially named “Duane Twait Field”.

Along with all of his coaching awards, Coach Twait was a member of many professional organizations. He held positions in the Iowa Football Coaches Association, the National Federation Coaches Association, Emmetsburg Education Association, Iowa State Education Association and the National Education Association. He was also involved with the Iowa Track Coaches Association, Northwest Iowa Coaches and Officials Association, the Iowa Athletic Directors Association, and the National Football Foundation and the College Hall of Fame, Iowa Chapter.

Even though Coach Duane Twait retired from his teaching and coaching positions at EHS in 2003, he continues his love of football and coaching young people by helping his son Kevin by serving as an assistant coach at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge.

“Coach Twait has had a tremendous influence on all of the members of the E-Hawk Football staff,” Dunlap noted. “We are all very appreciative of what he has done for the current staff over the years as well as the tradition of E-Hawk Football.”

Friday’s game will kickoff at 7 p.m.