Walker High School’s football team will have a new look at some key positions heading into the 2012 football season.
John Holladay will get his first glimpse at his new squad under the lights in the spring jamboree against Homewood Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m. from Walker’s Gambrell Ki-Ro Field.
Roberts, who started at quarterback for the Vikings each of the last two seasons, is gone as well as All-State linebacker Jonathan Piteo, who racked up 136 tackles last season.
”We’re replacing a lot. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen this spring. We’ve looked pretty good” said Holladay. “We’ve looked really aggressive on defense. We’ve ran to the ball real well.”
Defense has been Walker’s strong suit during Holladay’s tenure with the Vikings. Walker has given up an average of 16 or fewer points four of his five years as head coach.
On offense, Holladay must replace Roberts, who threw for 1,639 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions last year. Blake Wilkes, who saw playing time as Roberts’ back up, is the starter for Friday’s game.
The team returns its top three rushers from last year: Tyler Phillips (638 yards, 5 touchdowns), Kevin Clay (440, 5) and Michael Bridges (349, 2).
“Our running game has looked good. We’ve got guys coming back and Wilkes will help us in the run game as well,” Holladay said.
On Friday, the JV squad will play for the first two quarters against Homewood while the varsity team take to the field beginning at 7 p.m. for the final two quarters.
“I just want the kids to compete and have a little fun. This is the spring. We’ve still got a long way to go,” Holladay added.
Walker advanced to the playoffs last season, losing a nail-biter to Fort Payne 17-12 in the opening round. The Vikings went 6-5.
The Vikings are 44-15 in Holladay’s five-year tenure, going an impressive 30-7 in region play.