DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) – Walton Head Boys Basketball Coach Matt Anderson has a track record of building powerhouse programs, and has plans to do the same with the Braves.

Anderson was hired by Walton High School at the end of May and is already hard at work with his crew this summer.

When chosen for the position, Anderson referred to Walton as a ‘sleeping giant’ for Panhandle high school basketball and said he expects nothing less than an annual powerhouse or a program moving forward.

“We just want to become one of the premier programs in this part of the state, and we want to do it consistently on a year after year bases,” Anderson said. “We want to make deep runs in the playoffs, and hopefully, I mean you gotta have some luck to win a state championship, hopefully, have some luck here or there. We don’t know many years down the road, but we hope it’s not too many, but we do think we can get Walton to that point.”

Anderson has high expectations but also realizes the youth of his program, indicating it may take a year or two to reach the top.

“The biggest thing is to first get them to believe that they can (win),” Anderson said. “So, once we get that step taken care of then we’ll start traveling a little more to some of these biggest showcase events, bigger tournaments, things like that. We’ll only have two or three seniors at the most on this year’s team so it will be a building process, we’ve got a great group of 8th graders, 9th graders,10th graders, and quite a few juniors, so the prospects are really good.”

The last time Walton reached the playoffs was in 2019 when they finished the season at 22-5, falling in the region semifinals.