Stroke recovery moving forward for high school coach

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Shelbyville Head Coach Bill Duckett Shelbyville Head Coach Bill Duckett

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) – A high school football coach is recovering from a mini stroke in the hospital.

Shelbyville head coach Bill Duckett felt numbness on the right side of his body on Sunday after leaving church. He ended up at Carle Foundation Hospital in Champaign for treatment. The sudden nature of the situation was a shock to other members of the Shelbyville football community.

“Monday was scary when he was struggling with a few things,” coach Brad Hilbert said. “When I went back Tuesday morning he was becoming himself again … cracking jokes and starting to put everything together and realize what was going on.”

In the first half of this school week, Duckett’s players traveled to visit Duckett. A pair of players say the man made a strong impact on their lives.

“He’s always there,” said senior Brett Spears. “If you need to be happy, just go into his room during lunch and he’ll make you laugh all the time.”

“He’ll do anything for you,” senior Cade Watson added. “If you’ve got a problem he’ll help you figure it out. If you ever need to talk, just (with) anything you can talk to him.”

Duckett could have the option to put on his headset again soon, but it likely won’t be from the sideline. He’s on blood thinners this week and, in order to stay safe, would probably have to coach from the press box.

The Shelbyville Rams will hit the road this week for a road clash with Clinton.

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