The Walker Vikings varsity football squad could have thrown in the towel after its season-opening 13-10 loss to arch rival Cullman. The infamous post-game brouhaha between two coaches cost the players their long-time and beloved head coach and a chance to extend their season to the playoffs.
I have to admit that I doubted the team’s resolve following the Aug. 30 loss, the resignation of their coach and ensuing state sanctions. I am glad I was wrong.
Interim coach Heath Brunner has done an outstanding job rallying the troops. In fact, I have picked against his Vikings on more than one occasion this season.
After Walker’s road win at Moody only a week separated from the Cullman fiasco, I placed a congratulation note at the coach’s doorstep (he lives two doors down from me). I had picked Moody to win that game.
I also picked Pinson Valley and Center Point. And I was wrong both times. By now, Coach Brunner might rather I pick against his Vikings. Perhaps my misguided prognostications are becoming locker room motivation.
But I cannot bring myself to pick against the Walker Vikings again. They have climbed a much higher mountain than most this season. And they will be better off for it, even as their season comes to an end after Friday’s home game against Hueytown.
Since that punch that was seen around the world, the Vikings have reeled off seven wins to only one defeat. They are a perfect 7-0 in region play.
They do not need a post-season run to cement their success this year. Their success comes each week when they buckle their chinstraps and compete with their heads held high.
Jack McNeely is the publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle and can be contacted by phone at 205-221-2840 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.