Sandy Creek High football coach to match wits against his legendary father

(This is part of the AJC’s “30 in 30″ series — with quick hits on top high school football teams across the metro area and state during spring football practice. We’re doing 30 football teams in 30 days. Click here for a master list. Hey AJC, what about spring sports? You know, the non-football sports? Go here)

Chip Walker (right) guided Sandy Creek to 2009 Class AAAA state championship (AJC)

Chip Walker (right) guided Sandy Creek to 2009 Class AAAA state championship (AJC)

When Chip Walker led Sandy Creek to the Class AAAA state championship last year, he also made some family history.

Chip and his dad, Rodney Walker, are the first father-and-son tandem to each win state titles in Georgia. Rodney’s came in 1984 with West Rome.

One of the Sandy Creek’s preseason scrimmages will be against Mary Persons, coached by Rodney. Maybe that won’t be the last time they play. Due to the GHSA’s realignment, Sandy Creek has moved down to Class AAA, which also has Mary Persons as one of its member schools.

How was the spring for Sandy Creek? How are they looking for this season?

The Patriots lost a lot of talent, but also return a ton of potential all-stars. Alex Chisum (6-2, 185) is one of the Georgia’s top wide receivers and has early offers from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, West Virginia, Cincinnati, and Indiana. Cornerback Bruce Dukes (5-11, 185) is the team’s best athlete, and holds scholarships from Mississippi State, Kentucky, Cincinnati, and Indiana.

Defensive tackle Gavin Rocker (6-2, 220) was moved to defensive end during the spring, and has turned heads with his motor. Quarterback Ronnie Bell (6-0, 175) is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets, passing for 2,003 yards and 17 TDs. Bell will be pushed out of the shadows this year, taking on more of a load after the graduation of all-world RB Rajion Neal. Who will be Sandy Creek’s No. 1 RB? Derrick Alexander and Michael Hilton are the top two candidates.

Team: Sandy Creek Patriots

Spring practice dates: Finished.

Last year’s record: 14-1

Starters lost: 10

Head coach: Chip Walker

Follow AJC Prep Zone on FACEBOOK … and Twitter

Note: This blog will cover topics and issues that have proven to be most important to our readers. For the AJC’s complete high school coverage, go here to read articles on all sports.

18 comments Add your comment

bad brad

May 21st, 2010
7:45 am

Both Walkers have been successful because they have a system that works…and it starts with defense. Here’s to another outstanding season at The Battlefield.

Only thing I don’t understand is the constant roller coaster ride between AAAA and AAA. Since we just won the AAAA championship, I don’t think it’s a matter of competing. All the other local rivals are in AAAA and now for two years we are not.

Max Sizemore

May 21st, 2010
8:19 am

Brad, the GHSA system provides that schools placed in a certain classification can petition to play in a higher class. Either Sandy Creek did not do this or it was denied.

Upset Alert

May 21st, 2010
11:29 am

Classification is based on school projected enrollment


May 21st, 2010
11:47 am

Because of Sandy Creeks enrollment we always either are a small AAAA school like last year or a large AAA school. The decision to “play up” would be easy if the only sport considered was Football. Our other smaller sports were thought to have abetter chance at competing in the AAA ranks.


May 21st, 2010
11:52 am



May 21st, 2010
12:11 pm

Calm down Harold. Take your meds and wait for the nurse with the two guys in the white coats.

What the heck are you even babbling about??


May 21st, 2010
2:18 pm

I agree Greg, Harold has lost it.Well its time to bet Buford in the Dome. Hope to see yall there. Go Creek! …lets talk about this mid-way the season.


May 21st, 2010
3:08 pm

Harold Harold Harold, this blog is about high school football, not Urban Liar or Nick Satan.

bad brad

May 21st, 2010
3:25 pm

Realize there are other sports besides football; but that is the one bringing in the bucks. If we can compete against the larger local schools in football then why not the other sports?? Also take a look at the graduation numbers this year. The only Fayette school with a larger graduating class than Sandy Creek is Whitewater.

I drove to Cedartown, Rome, Cartersville, etc two years ago for all the games, but have to tell you, it is a lot more fun to compete against the teams in your area when there are neigborhood rivalries on the line.

Max it is my understanding that two years ago we petitioned to play up and then this time around did not. What sports are you guys wanting to be more competitive in? I’d be willing to bet that in two years, we will not have proven to be more competitive in the lesser sports than we are now. Just depriving a lot of fans that won’t drive to the far away places a chance to see the teams compete, especially in the lesser sports.

Just my opinion.

Big Mac

May 21st, 2010
4:36 pm

Bad Brad – there are other sports besides football and those sports are not “lesser”. You probably were dropped on your head as a child because your reply makes no sense. You want to play the local schools at AAA or do you want to travel and play AAAA schools? A mind is a terrible thing to waste.


May 21st, 2010
4:45 pm

Harold, Nick Satan wouldn’t win crap at Alabama without the out of state players. They won’t win it next season and they won’t win it the next because by then Alabama will be on probation yet again.

Football Fan

May 21st, 2010
8:19 pm

Coach Chip Walker is the best, most personable, most dedicated, most reliable, most handsome coach to ever run the state of Georgia. Gooooooooooooooo Patriots!!!

bad brad

May 21st, 2010
9:50 pm

Big Mac, you want some fries with that. I was responding to a post where Patriotdad referenced smaller sports. In my book smaller equals lesser. Smaller, lesser get it. Don’t believe that? Check out the attendance some time at any of the other sports vs. a football game. Also in the past, several SC teams have competed on the state level in AAAA. Don’t believe it, look it up. I want to stay local and play the other local AAAA schools. Don’t want to travel all over the state to AAA games. Is there something about that statement that you don’t understand. And you think somebody dropped me on my head? You are a piece of work Big Mac…must be that secret sauce.

Big Mac

May 21st, 2010
10:13 pm

Bad Brad, are you still a student? You say you want to stay and play other local AAAA schools so I just figured you were. You should be more worried about the quality of the education than which class the school is in. I still don’t see the link between smaller and lesser. So if your kid isn’t 6′-10″, he is lesser in your book? Yes, I’ll have fries with that!

bad brad

May 21st, 2010
10:41 pm

mac you are too stupid to converse with; I have a son at SC…he’s not 6-10 and he plays one of the lesser sports. I dont have a problem with the quality of education and don’t really see how that factors into what division sports we play in. Maybe you do, but instead of fries, have the fish sandwich. Morons like you think fish is good for your brain. Get back inside the trailer and shut the door; you’re letting mosquitos in.

Big Mac

May 21st, 2010
11:23 pm

It does not really matter what division the school plays in. You are making too much of it. It is, what it is and who cares! The good kids will get noticed by colleges. You guys have a good athletic program. Be happy. I don’t eat much fish for the record.

bad brad

May 22nd, 2010
6:14 am

I figured you weren’t a Creek fan; SC usually wins wherever they play these days. Chip has a good system and it works. My whole point was that it is much more enjoyable watching games against schools in your area, where you know some of the players on the other team.

I liken it to if every two years, UGA decided to go play in the Big Ten. Can you imagine the outcry from the fans who like seeing GA play FLA and Auburn every year. That’s all I’m saying but apparently you and a couple of others wanted to make an issue of it.

The problem is if you want to play down, then play down…just don’t switch every time the rebalance comes. Personally, I vote to stay in AAAA. We proved last year that we can compete there in football and I for one don’t buy the we’re trying to compete in the “smaller” sports. If we were, we would put better coaches in these sports.


May 22nd, 2010
8:46 pm

I agree with bad brad comments 100%. I am also a SC parent with a son playing football and other sports as well.