Janesville37°

TD formula: Walker touches divided by 4 is the answer

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JOHN N. BARRY
September 22, 2011
— It’s a good thing Rodney Wedig is a well-respected social studies teacher at Walworth Big Foot High School.

Math doesn’t seem to be his niche.


According to Wedig, who also happens to be the head coach of the school’s football team, Kenneth Walker scores a touchdown every four times he touches the ball.


Then coach, why not give Walker the ball 32 times a game? That computes to eight touchdowns a game.


“That’s funny,” Wedig said with a big smile. “I never looked at it like that. But things seemed to have worked out pretty well so far the way we’ve been doing it.”


Pretty well? The Chiefs are 5-0 and ranked second in the state for schools with an enrollment between 350 and 899. Walker is a big reason why.


The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior has rushed 47 times for 593 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s an average of 12.62 yards per carry. Walker also has caught six passes for 125 yards and one touchdown, and he has added two kickoff returns and one punt return for touchdowns.


Since Walker’s services normally are not needed in the second half, his stats are misleading. The past two weeks alone, Big Foot has been ahead at halftime by 50-0 over McFarland and 54-6 against Clinton.


“I don’t worry about my stats at all,” Walker said. “I enjoy watching everybody on the team getting a chance to contribute to our success. That’s the most important thing.


“I just try to make the most of my opportunities when I’m in there. And I can’t say enough about my (offensive) line. They’re giving me the holes to run through and make my job a lot easier.”


Kenneth is not the first Walker to run wild in the Rock Valley Conference. His older brother, Michael, helped lead the Chiefs to the 2009 WIAA Division 4 state title.


Michael now plays for St. Cloud State and scored two touchdowns last Saturday in a loss to Winona State.


Wedig said there are obvious similarities between the brothers—both on and off the field—but also glaring differences.


“Michael is an outstanding football player,” Wedig said. “Kenneth is more of a natural athlete. That’s not to say he’s not a great football player because he is, but they’re two different types of players.


“If you get Kenneth in space, he’s impossible to defend. Michael just wanted to run you over.”


Kenneth, suffering from a high ankle sprain, played only one series in last year’s state semifinal loss to Brodhead/Juda. That loss, and knowing he couldn’t be on the field to help his teammates, haunted Walker in the off-season. He pushed himself to get bigger, stronger, and most importantly, more flexible in his ankles.


Walker thinks he is cutting quicker and running faster than ever before. The injury is behind him.


“All of us, myself included, are just trying to push each other to get better and keep improving,” Walker said of a team that hasn’t been tested in five games. “There are always things you can work on.


“Everybody said they thought we played the perfect game against McFarland, but we know we had a couple fumbles and some penalties. We can always improve on something.”


Big Foot is in the midst of a 32-game Rock Valley winning streak and has won four straight conference titles.


Michael Walker was there to start the streak. Kenneth Walker is doing his best to keep it going—no matter how many times a game he gets the ball.


The Walker file

Person I admire most: My brother, Michael.


Pregame routine: Don’t eat anything.


Best sports memory: Winning state (football) two years ago.


Significance of uniform number: No. 20, which is the same number my brother, Michael, wears at St. Cloud.


TV show I never miss: “ESPN SportsCenter.”


Favorite food: Pizza.


Favorite movie: “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”


Most prized possession: An Under Armour sleeves shirt.


In 10 years, I’ll be: Playing football.


Best invention in the last 100 years: Television.


Dream job: Athletic trainer.


If I could have one super power, it would be: To fly.


If I could play any other sport, it would be: Hockey.


Favorite all-time player (sports hero): My brother, Michael.


If I could have dinner with one famous person, it would be: Michael Vick.


CD currently getting the most play: Jason Derulo.



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