The most surprising unbeaten team this season is perhaps the Walker School of Marietta. The Class A Wolverines (8-0) have never finished better than 6-4, much less 10-0. They’ve never won a playoff game and last had a winning season in 2006.
“For our first game against Temple, a few people hoped we could win,” first-year coach John East said. “A bunch of people hoped we could keep it close. And a bunch more hoped we wouldn’t get blown off the field.”
Walker won 30-14.
The first game actually was a scrimmage the week before against Landmark Christian, the Class A runner-up in 2011. Walker lost 10-0, but the close game and the defensive effort seemed to give the team confidence.
East was an unexpected selection as head coach last spring to replace Ben Williamson, who resigned to move to North Carolina. East hadn’t been a head coach in 20 years. He had been an athletics director at Lovett and Whitefield Academy and been a longtime assistant football coach. He had come to Walker last spring to give consultation on how to start a lacrosse team. Next thing you know, Walker athletics director Gary Blohm offered him the football job.
One of the best things East did was increase participation. There are 53 players in the program compared to 30 a year ago. It allows some rest for stars such as Evan Kasian, Class A’s leading rusher, and lineman Mike Ramsey, who has committed to Duke. Several of the players didn’t play last year. Some hadn’t played at all.
East said he’s got a four-point plan of goals: “Be honorable, improve, have fun, try to win a state championship.”
The first three goals are complete.
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