Walton ready to regain championship form
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
June 04, 2013 12:25 AM | 3062 views | 6 6 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Cecil Copeland

Walton’s D.J. Smith, right, will be a big part of what the Raiders do on offense and defense in the 2013 season. After a year that was plagued by injuries, Walton will try to get back to the level it was at in 2011 when it played for a state championship.
Special / Cecil Copeland Walton’s D.J. Smith, right, will be a big part of what the Raiders do on offense and defense in the 2013 season. After a year that was plagued by injuries, Walton will try to get back to the level it was at in 2011 when it played for a state championship.
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Injuries took their toll on the Walton football team in 2012, but the 2013 team may benefit because of them.

With recently graduated players like running back Tyren Jones, quarterback Parker McLeod and offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow getting banged up, it allowed D.J. Smith to show what he could do running the ball, and Price Wilson got plenty of reps under center.

However, the biggest place where young players had an opportunity to gain valuable experience was the offensive line, and that’s one of the reasons why coach Rocky Hidalgo said his Raiders have a chance to have another good season in the fall.

“Our offensive line got thrown to the wolves a little bit last season because we had to play four sophomores,” Hidalgo said. “It wasn’t always pretty.”

He said those four sophomores — Jack Henry, Eric Smith, David Davis and Jon France — all came out and had good springs and help set the tone Hidalgo said Walton’s spring practices are all about.

With the improvement of the line, it will allow Wilson, who threw for nearly 600 yards and four touchdowns, last season, to really have the time to show what he can do in the passing game in 2013.

Smith, who had more than 700 yards of total offense and eight touchdowns, will prove to be one of the offensive weapons Wilson will have to get the ball to, but it is unknown whether it will be at the wide receiver position or at tailback.

“D.J. is going to be a big part of the offense,” Hidalgo said. “We want to get him the ball 15 times or so a game.”

Smith’s use at tailback will be determined by the performance of new varsity players Breyon Thomas and Karekin “K.K.” Brooks. Hidalgo said both have an opportunity to be good tailbacks and will be looking for them to step up and earn the job.

While there are a lot of question marks on offense. Hidalgo said defensively, his team has a chance to be special.

“There is a lot of team speed,” Hidalgo said. “We have a chance to have one of the best defensive teams we’ve ever had here.”

Smith, who already has more than 20 Division I offers including Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio State and Clemson, will anchor the defensive backfield, but it may be a linebacking core that makes most of the noise.

Dreyon Williams, Jordan Vorster and Ridge Gibson are all expected to be back and Hidalgo said Zach Williams “is going to be a dynamite player.”

Comments
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Mike C
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June 06, 2013
Did Walton have any key move in transfer this year?
region5fan
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June 06, 2013
No, Walton just had Tyren Jones his sophomore year and he has already reported to The University of Alabama to play football for Nick Saban and the Tide. That was an excellent decision by his parents to move into the Walton district since he was only getting the ball 8-10 times a game at Lassiter. Speaking of Lassiter, they had 7 move ins/transfers last season and are leading the pack again this year. Check back in July and we'll give you our final number.
Grayson Fan
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June 06, 2013
Tyren was a great pick up for Walton and it was smart for him to go to a high school where a coach obeys a parent. Good for him.



slim065
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June 06, 2013
Only one I have heard of at Lassiter is the former Wesleyan QB.

Will say what I always say, all schools will get people moving into their district. Whether for athletics/academics/fine arts/etc. Just a part of life when parents are looking to give their children the best possible chance to succeed now and in the future. Whether that is true or not...
Football Fan
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June 04, 2013
I see Walton losing the first three games and then running off 7 straight wins against a weak region 5 schedule.
slim065
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June 05, 2013
Will be interesting to see how Walton rebonds from last year and the loss of a lot of good players.

Good thing is they were able to find out on the run last year what they may have in some players.

Not sure I see any team in Reg 5 going undefeated. Walton loosing a QB/RB/OL/etc, Lassiter loosing multiple WR to college teams/QB/lots on d, Milton lost their QB from last year as he transferred to Norcross and probably other movement elsewhere like the WR that left Wheeler for Hillgrove.

Can never tell what teams have at this point. A lot of promise, but the players have to want it and the coaches have to see where weaknesses may lie.

I personally expect some really competitive games this fall and not something like the last 2 years where teams rolled (fairly) easy to a 10-0 record. I can definitely see tie breakers playing in important role this year.
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