DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) – The Walton Football team, at 5-1, is off to their best start in over half a decade.
The Braves are in their first year under head coach Keith White, and the team has said that the locker room has undergone a complete culture change.
White is far from new to coaching high school football with 29 years of experience, but he is also not new to Walton.
“I was here from 2012-2014 so I’ve coached some of their older brothers and when I bring some of those players back and let them talk to these guys, you know they trust me and they believe in me,” White said. “And guys don’t care what you know if they don’t know you care about them, so when they know when you care about them, they’re going to play.”
The winning culture surrounding the team has been contagious, and through six weeks of play, junior quarterback, Keyaunte Miller, said the high school has rallied around them.
“The stands, like on homecoming, it was packed,” Miller said. “Usually, it’s not like that, from last year it was 3-4, we’re 5-1 right now and we’re having a great start, the fans, our student section is really like giving it and all that, the band, the cheerleaders, I mean we’ve just had a great start.”
The Braves defense this season has been nothing short of outstanding. The unit has posted two shutouts and is allowing just nine and a half points per game.
“Really our defense is really what has won us football (games),” senior running back Jamir Campbell said. “Our defense hasn’t let up really that many points since South Walton’s 28 points, other than that our defense has been shutting out teams, not allowing that many points, so they’re the heart of the team, really the defense.”
Walton is on a four-game winning streak, and coach White said they have no intentions of slowing down.
“A lot of times when these guys showed up last year, they didn’t know if they could win, now we show up to games expecting to win,” White said. “So you know, they’ve bought into that, we don’t want to get too high or too low, we want to stay very humble. But if you’re going to get on the bus and you’re not expecting to win, we tell them don’t get on the bus.”
The Braves will look to improve upon their 5-1 record Friday as they will visit the Bozeman Bucks.