Now that Walker is healthier than it has been in previous weeks, it could be a while before they hand first-year coach John East his first defeat.
The Wolverines are already off to a 4-0 start for the first time in school history, and East is constantly talking about the 53 players he has to work with. There were roughly 30 players on Walker’s roster last season when the Wolverines only won three games.
The news gets even better for the undefeated Wolverines, who are now enjoying a bye week. A few key players should be cleared to play next week when they host Mount Pisgah Christian in a Region 6A (B) game after missing time with various injuries.
Offensive tackle William Wynn is expected to be full strength from a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Kyle Rehl is in the final stages of recovery from a hip injury, and running back Zach Fox should be ready to go again after hurting his knee in Walker’s season opener against Temple.
“Since we’re playing good ball, it will be nice to have those guys back.” East said. “Wynn’s a big kid and Zach has a lot of speed.”
According to East, with more players on his roster not as many will have to play both ways, and that usually leads to having less fatigue on the sidelines, especially late in games. Higher numbers also leads to healthier competition for starting positions.
“We have depth going for us and it helps the guys push each other even harder,” East said. “We will be picking up more players going into next week.”
Having Fox back in the lineup should give Walker more depth in the running game, which has already exploded behind senior and four-year starter Evan Kasian.
Kasian has already rushed for 767 yards and 11 touchdowns in four games this season, which puts him at second overall in Cobb County behind Walton’s Tyren Jones. Patrick McPherson and McClain McKinney both give Kasian a breather with a combined 278 yards and four touchdowns.
Having an extra receiver in Rehl should give Walker more options in its passing game, which is still under development. One of East’s short-term goals is to balance the run and the pass in his multiple offense.
While the Wolverines already have 1,045 rushing yards combined, they only have 163 passing yards. However, first-year quarterback Cameron Bloebaum has shown he can finish drives with three touchdown passes — two to Sloan Coolbroth and one to Kevin Bray.
East said he’s still giving Bloebaum time to get acclimated and is pleased with his progression.
“If I was going to play us, you have to do something about (Kasian),” East said. “I want to have a multiple offense so you are not stuck in one area of the game. With what people do defensively, I’ve coached games when we passed just a few times and coached games when I passed it 60 times — 62 to be exact.”
Walker was tested in its latest win over Mt. Zion-Carroll, another team that has made major strides from last season as a result of having more depth. The game came down to a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter by Kasian, who finished with 207 yards on 22 carries.